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Houthis tell US, UK nationals to leave Yemen in 30 days

Yemen’s Houthis ordered US and UK staff of the United Nations and other humanitarian organisations to leave the country within a month, a report citing a Houthi official claimed. The call came after strikes by the United States and Britain against military targets of the Iran-aligned rebel group which has been launching attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. Houthis have said that they are targeting ships linked to Israel amid Tel Aviv’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Earlier the US government termed Houthis as a terrorist group amid its attacks in solidarity with the Palestinians .

 

“The ministry … would like to stress that you must inform officials and workers with US and British citizenships to prepare to leave the country within 30 days,” a letter sent by the Houthi foreign ministry to the UN’s acting humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, read, as per news agency Reuters. The letter also ordered foreign organisations to not hire US and UK citizens for Yemen’s operations.

The US embassy said in a statement that it was aware of reports about the letter but “cannot speak on behalf of the U.N. or humanitarian organizations in Yemen as to what they may have received from Houthi ‘authorities’”, as per the report. Meanwhile, the British embassy said that staff had not yet been told to leave.

“The U.N. provide vital assistance to the Yemeni people … via the very sea routes that the Houthis are jeopardising,” the British mission in Yemen said, adding, “Nothing should be done that hinders their ability to deliver.”

Houthis controls much of Yemen after nearly a decade of war against a US-backed and Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The war has shifted to a “no-war, no-peace” stalemate as the fighting has largely stopped. US and UK have launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen in retaliation for Houthi attacks.

 

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