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Tipsheet

Biden's Disastrous Decision to Remove Houthis From FTO List Blasted After Latest Incident in Yemen

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Houthi rebels breached the compound in Yemen that housed the American Embassy, which has been closed during the country’s civil war, taking Yemeni employees of the U.S. government hostage. 

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According to the State Department, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen and his main staff have been working from the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia since February 2015 due to the ongoing conflict. However, there are still some Yemeni staff that worked from home or as security guards at the compound, Bloomberg reports.

While the State Department said Thursday that a "majority" of hostages that had been detained were released, there are still embassy staff that "continue to be detained without explanation."

"We have been unceasing in our behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to secure their release," Department of State Press Secretary Ned Price said Thursday of the security guards still detained. "We've seen some progress, and we're continuing to work this critical issue."

The State Department also called on Houthi forces to “immediately vacate” the embassy compound and to “return all seized property.” The detained Yemeni employees are security personnel who had been guarding the outside of the facility, according to a State Department official.

Saudi Arabia is staunchly opposed to the Houthi forces and launched a military intervention in 2015, ostensibly seeking to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government to power. The conflict is also a regional one, in which the Saudis and their allies are seeking to prevent Iran from expanding its influence.

Houthi forces have also directly attacked Saudi Arabia, targeting the energy-rich kingdom’s airports and oil production facilities. The Saudi government had imposed a near-total blockade on Yemen, exacerbating a severe humanitarian crisis. (WaPo)

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The Biden administration in February reversed a Trump-era decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group.

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