The U.S. on Tuesday demanded Houthi rebels in Yemen release an American citizen detained last week calling it “unacceptable”.
U.S. reaction followed American media reports from Yemen that an American English teacher in the capital, Sanaa, was detained on “suspicions of espionage” last week.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of U.S. citizens being unjustly detained by the Houthi-controlled National Security Bureau in Yemen,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
Toner said it would be the responsibility of those who “unjustly detained” the teacher, if the instructor is harmed and would jeopardize “any Houthi efforts to establish that they are credible and responsible interlocutors.”
Yemen has been ravaged by civil war since late 2014 when Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran Sanaa and forced the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh.
The conflict escalated last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and restoring Hadi’s government.