The US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the release of Wallead Yusuf Pitts Luqman, the third American citizen to be detained in Yemen since last October, after he was kidnapped by Houthis in Yemen and held for more than a year and a half.
Kerry said in a statement that the Sultanate of Oman helped in the operation to release Luqman and that “My team and I have been focused on Wallead’s detention since the beginning, working closely with our partners in the region, and I have also been in direct contact with his family.” Wallead was flown to Oman from Sana’a, which is controlled by the Houthis, “in preparation for his return to his country” after his release.
According to Agence France-Presse, the Houthis who are backed by Iran seized control of the capital Sana’a in September 2014 and have kidnapped many westerners who have been released with the help of Omani mediation.
The Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his “deepest gratitude” to the Government of Oman “for their leadership and assistance in securing Mr Luqman’s safe return”. He added “We will not stop our efforts to secure the release of Americans unjustly detained abroad” and “we continue to call for the release of persons unjustly detained in Yemen”.