The U.S. State Department is seeking the release of individuals detained by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and calling for the militants who breached the American embassy facility in Sana'a to abandon the premises and return stolen materials.
"We call on the Houthis to immediately vacate it and return all seized property," a State Department spokesperson said, according to reports. "The U.S. government will continue its diplomatic efforts to secure the release of our staff and the vacating of our compound, including through our international partners."
Yemenis working for America have been detained by Houthis in recent weeks, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing two individuals familiar with the issue.
The outlet said that the American embassy in Yemen was closed years ago in 2015, though some local workers still work from home or serve as security for the facility grounds.
"The United States has been unceasing in its diplomatic efforts to secure their release," a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon. "The majority of the detained have been released, but the Houthis continue to detain additional Yemeni employees of the embassy."
The individuals being detained are "detained without explanation and we call for their immediate release," the State Department spokesperson noted, according to the Free Beacon.
After the Trump administration designated the Houthis as a terrorist organization, the Biden administration reversed course, the Free Beacon noted.
"The Houthis continue acting like a foreign terrorist organization. The Biden administration's wrong-headed decision to not treat them as one is failing with catastrophic consequences for the people of Yemen, U.S. allies and U.S. security," tweeted Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz.