Middle East, Europe

EU condemns Houthi breach into ex-US Embassy in Yemen

Bloc calls on Iran-backed militia to release former US, UN employees, respect inviolability of diplomatic property

Agnes Szucs   | 23.11.2021
EU condemns Houthi breach into ex-US Embassy in Yemen

BRUSSELS 

The EU on Tuesday condemned a breach of the former US Embassy in the Yemeni capital by Houthi rebels, calling on the militia to immediately release detained US and UN staff.

In a statement released by the office of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the EU condemned the intrusion into the building complex previously used as the US Embassy in Sanaa.

The bloc also denounced the continued detention of Yemenis who worked for the US and UN, as well as the "threats and harassment targeting current and former staff of diplomatic and international missions in the country."

It called on the militia "to leave the compound, stop arrests and detentions and release all detained immediately."

Referring to a similar declaration of the UN Security Council, the EU statement also pointed out that international law prohibits intrusion into diplomatic property.

The US State Department announced on Nov. 14. that Iran-backed Houthi fighters breached the walls of the former US Embassy compound and detained Yemeni security staff of the US government.

Yemen has been in violence and chaos since 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa, and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country the following year.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict has claimed more than 233,000 lives.

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