Two Americans Held Hostage by Iran-Backed Forces in Yemen Freed in Trade
Sandra Loli, an American humanitarian aid worker, and Mikael Gidada, an American businessman, have been released by Houthi militants in Yemen on Wednesday due to a trade that returned more than 200 of the Iran-backed group’s loyalists to the country. The American hostages were freed on a Royal Oman Air Force plane also carrying the remains of a third American hostage exiting through Yemen’s Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a.
Two of the same jets also flew the militants back to Yemen after years of captivity in Oman due to their involvement with the extremist Houthi group. Loli was reportedly held hostage for 16 months while Gidada was held for roughly a year, according to deputy assistant to the president Kash Patel. Although limited information about the deal has been released, the US rushed the trade process due to the declining health of Ms. Loli. Saudi Arabian officials tentatively backed the deal, which is dangerous as it permits dozens of Houthi militants to return to the battle zone after receiving training on advanced drones and missiles.