All eyes are on Putin as Russian forces ramrod their way across Ukraine. Meanwhile, in another part of the world, Yemen’s Houthi rebels are rounding up former officials from the now-closed U.S. Embassy. Their latest capture brings the total to 11 ex-U.S. Embassy staffers being held in their custody.
Funded by Iran, the rebels control a large swath of Yemen’s northern region as well as the capital city of Sanaa. Their latest capture is the former press officer for the embassy.
Along with the 10 other detainees, the former press secretary is being held at a Houthi-operated Security and Intelligence facility, although the conditions under which they are being held are unknown. The rebels are certain to put the prisoners through a trial based solely on their own customized set of rules and standards of which they are certain to be convicted.
The State Department said that the U.S. government is being “unceasing” in its continued efforts to secure the release of the hostages. Yemen is the poorest nation in the Arabian Peninsula, and as such, has seen one uprising after another since 2015 when a bloody conflict caused the U.S. to board the windows of its Embassy building and bug out.
The rebels had swept down from the north in 2014, toppling the country’s regime and seizing control of the capital. A year later, Saudi Arabia jumped into the picture by sending its troops into Yemen to send the Houthi rebels scrambling, but after seven years of fighting, they have yet to accomplish the mission thanks to Iran’s money.
The U.N. along with a multitude of aid agencies have all labeled Yemen as a humanitarian crisis. As the fighting continues nothing is being done about the millions of Yemen citizens who are staring straight into the face of a famine that’s wreaking havoc. They don’t care who wins what, they just want the basic necessities of life.
The rebels have largely ignored the Biden administration’s requests to talk things out like reasonable people, instead accusing the U.S. of supporting the coalition that’s out to run them off.
When the rebels first seized the U.S. Embassy, they detained dozens of staffers. With the exception of 10, all were released. Now, the number of detainees stands at 11, and the reasons behind abducting their latest victim all these years later are not known.
Perhaps it has to do with the rebels catching wind of the Biden administration’s consideration of designating the rebel leaders as terrorists. While this appears to be a mere designation, it brings implications with it. It’s U.S. policy to inflict harsh penalties on any country found aiding, abetting, or conducting business in any way with a terrorist group.
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are also considering slapping the rebels with the same designation which would pretty much seal the deal worldwide.
Humanitarian organizations don’t want to see this happen. They say the financial impact won’t have any real effect on the Houthi leaders who stay hidden in the hills. It’s why they stay buddy-buddy with Iran.
However, the designation would be harmful to everyday citizens by driving away food suppliers and shippers of other essential products. It’s a dilemma all the way around and as inhumane as it may sound, there’s no easy or quick fix so the best solution might be to just let things run their intended course.
Even if the Houthis were knocked out of commission, which new and fresh rebel group is waiting in line to take their place? You know how this kinda stuff goes over there.