Yemeni Rebels Release 6 Foreign Hostages

SANAA, Yemen (Dpa/TNS) -

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have released six foreign hostages after months in captivity, an official in the rebel movement said Sunday. At least two Americans were among those freed.

The hostages left the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa for Oman aboard a plane with a Houthi team, according to the official.

They were released through Omani mediation, the official added on condition of anonymity.

He did not identify their nationalities.

According to Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya said the freed hostages included Americans, one Briton and two Saudi nationals. They had been held for six months in Sanaa, Al Arabiya said.

In Washington, the White House said two U.S. detainees had been released and they were met by the U.S.  ambassador to Oman. There was no reference to a third American.

In March, Saudi Arabia and its fellow Sunni partners began airstrikes in Yemen after the mostly Shiite rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

Oman is not a member of the Saudi-led military coalition and has hosted several indirect talks in recent months aimed at ending the Yemeni conflict.

Saudi Arabia has vowed not to stop the campaign until Hadi, a Sunni, is reinstated.

The president is currently in Saudi Arabia.