British hostage in Yemen rescued by UAE forces

A pilot sitting in a cockpit of a fighter jet of the UAE armed forces on the tarmac of a Saudi air force base after raids against Houthis in Yemen (File photo: AFP)

A British hostage has been freed in Yemen following an operation by United Arab Emirates forces, the Foreign Office in London announced Sunday.

"I'm pleased to confirm that a British hostage held in Yemen has been extracted by UAE forces in a military intelligence operation," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement reported by Agence France-Presse. "The British national is safe and well".

Emirati state news agency WAM said on Sunday that the hostage, who went missing in Feb. 2014, was taken to Abu
Dhabi on a military plane on Saturday night.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron to tell him about the release on Saturday, WAM added.

The statements did not identify the person or give any further details of the operation to free them.

Yemen has been wracked by conflict since March, when a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

Yemeni loyalists are backed by countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Last year, British teacher Mike Harvey was released after being held for five months in Yemen following negotiations by the government in Sanaa.

(With AFP and Reuters)


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45