The State Department announced Sunday that “several” Americans are being detained in Yemen by Shiite rebels.
“At least four US citizens are being held hostage by Shiite rebels there,” Agence France Presse reports.
“[The State Department] had seen the ‘reports that several US citizens have recently been detained in Yemen,” department officials stated. “We are doing doing everything we can to get those individuals released.”
Many Shiite groups serve as “proxies” for Iran to help spread its influence in the region, and many “[Shiite] militias are deeply distasteful to Washington,” Politico reports. Complicating matters further, Politico also reports that the U.S. will be “relying on Iran-backed Shiite militias… to retake Ramadi” from ISIS.
“We’ve been concerned all along about the power and influence of the Shiite militias,” Derek Chollet, former Obama administration assistant secretary of defense for international affairs said. “But we have to acknowledge the reality that the Shiite militias are capable.”