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US in talks with Houthis as Yemen death toll rises
June 1, 2015, 11:55 am

Houthi fighters took over the Yemeni capital Sanaa in January and arrested its government, prompting a Saudi-led campaign against the rebel group [Xinhua]

Houthi fighters took over the Yemeni capital Sanaa in January and arrested its government, prompting a Saudi-led campaign against the rebel group [Xinhua]


The US State Department said late Sunday that it was working to release a number of US citizens currently held by Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led bombing campaign has entered its third month.

The announcement coincided with several US media reports which indicated that US citizens were detained by the Houthis two weeks ago and as recently as last week.

Their names have not been released; however, there are concerns for their safety amid aerial bombardment by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies.

The State Department statement comes amid reports that US and Houthi officials have been meeting in Oman, possibly raising the prospect that a diplomatic solution may end the conflict. A Yemeni government spokesperson in exile in Saudi Arabia confirmed the report to Reuters on Sunday.

The Houthis and US officials have not officially commented on the report.

Since late March, Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Houthi Shia rebels who seized most of Yemen in a military offensive which forced the Western and Arab backed government flee to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, the UN and the US blame the rebel Houthi movement for collapse of the Yemeni state.

In January, the Houthis – who are Shia – seized the presidential palace and forced then leader Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to resign. They have since sought to consolidate their hold on the country.

Saudi Arabia says it is fighting the Houthis in order to restore the legitimate Hadi-led government.

Meanwhile, medical sources and international relief organizations say that the death toll from the two-month bombing campaign has risen to at least 2,000, many of them civilians including women and children.

On Wednesday, more than 80 people were killed in what was the fiercest bombing to date. Houthi rebels retaliated by shelling Saudi border positions over the weekend, kill one policeman and injuring dozens.

The UN and the World Health organization are also warning that hospitals in Yemen are running out of supplies and that there are no medicines for illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. It says that more than a third of Yemen’s 24 million people are in urgent need of medical care.

A temporary ceasefire which began on May 12 to allow humanitarian relief of civilians in Yemen collapsed a few days later.

The BRICS POST with inputs from Agencies

One Response to US in talks with Houthis as Yemen death toll rises

  1. wayne t baker Reply

    June 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    What upset the US and Saudis was that the Houthis were rightfully expelling Saudi backed terrorists from their nation. Once again the crimminal actions of the Bush/Obama cabal are exposed.

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