Tags: casey coombs | freed | yemen | freelancer

Casey Coombs Freed in Yemen; US Freelancer Was Held 2 Weeks

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 10:52 AM

Casey Coombs, an American freelance journalist captured two weeks ago by Houthi rebels in Yemen, was freed and returned to the Persian Gulf state of Oman, the government confirmed Monday.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told Washington reporters that Coombs was in "stable" condition but provided no further information. The Wall Street Journal reported additionally that the release was negotiated during secret meetings between Obama-administration envoys and the rebels in Oman.

Coombs' mother, Jill Marie Hammill, said in a telephone interview with The New York Times that he will undergo a medical evaluation before returning home to Seattle.

Coombs has previously written for Time magazine, The Intercept, and The American Prospect. He was one of four Americans held by the Shiite militia group.

A video of Isabelle Prime, a French woman captured three months, was also released this week. In it, she pleads for her life. It is unclear when the video was filmed, however.

The Houthi rebels, a Shiite group, overthrew US-backed Yemeni president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in March, forcing the US and European embassies to evacuate and throwing the country into chaos. Saudi Arabia soon launched an air offensive against the rebels, and seek to restore Hadi to power.

Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran with arming and funding the Houthi operations. Iran has denied the charge.

During the president's envoy's secret meetings with the rebels in Oman, officials pressed for a cease-fire, however the Journal reported that, "Clashes continue to rage between the Houthis, forces loyal to Mr. Hadi, al Qaeda and other militant groups."

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Casey Coombs, an American freelance journalist captured two weeks ago by Houthi rebels in Yemen, was freed and returned to the Persian Gulf state of Oman, the government confirmed Monday.
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2015-52-02
Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 10:52 AM
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