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US, Saudi free two US citizens from Houthi captivity in Yemen: State Department

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The US and Saudi Arabia worked together in recent months to free two US citizens detained by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, a State Department official said Thursday.

“We assisted with the safe departure of two US citizens from an area of Yemen currently under Houthi control,” the official told Al Arabiya English. “We express our appreciation to our Saudi and Yemeni government partners for their assistance in facilitating their safe departure.”

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Reuters was first to report about the operation, which sources said was carried out in January.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the two Americans were Yemen-born women, 19 and 20. They were reportedly flown from Sanaa to Aden, before heading to Saudi Arabia.

They are now back in the US, according to the report.

The State Department official did not provide further details “due to privacy considerations.”

“The welfare and safety of US citizens overseas is the highest priority of the Department of State,” the State Department official added.

Read more: Houthi attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia doubled this year: Report

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