Acting US Ambassador to Yemen Cathy Westley confirmed today, Saturday, that she is giving the highest priority to releasing local embassy employees who are being held by the Houthis, and restoring control of the diplomatic compound in Sanaa.
“My priority is to ensure the immediate release of all our local employees detained in Yemen, to restore control over the compound that housed the American embassy in Sana’a, and to stop the Houthis’ harassment of our local employees,” she added in a message posted on the Twitter account of the US embassy in Yemen.
Post of the US Embassy in Yemen on Twitter
And she continued, “I have directed my team to work in coordination with the US special envoy for Yemen and the international community to harness all the diplomatic means available to us, to achieve this end. We will not stop our efforts until that is done.”
Westley stressed that the United States remains committed to a lasting political solution to the conflict in Yemen.
During the month of November, the Houthi militia stormed the US embassy complex on Sheraton Street in the capital, Sanaa. And local sources reported that militia members stormed the embassy compound and looted a large amount of equipment and supplies.
The US Embassy compound in Sanaa (archive)
The storming operation came days after the kidnapping of three embassy employees, which was preceded by the militia kidnapping about 22 others, most of whom work as part of the security staff that remained guarding the embassy building.
It is noteworthy that the US embassy was closed in 2015, after the Houthis seized the Yemeni capital, but some Yemeni employees continued to work from home or as security guards for buildings, before the militias arrested them days ago.