Houthi rebels seize US Embassy vehicles at Sanaa Airport

11 February 2015 (Last Updated February 11th, 2015 18:30)

Following the suspension of embassy operations by the US and UK in Yemen amid growing unrest, Houthi rebels has taken all US Embassy vehicles parked at the capital's Sanaa Airport.

yemen

Following the suspension of embassy operations by the US and UK in Yemen amid growing unrest, Houthi rebels has taken all US Embassy vehicles parked at the capital's Sanaa Airport.

The rebels took over close to 30 embassy vehicles after the ambassador and diplomats left the country, reported The Guardian.

Thousands of people have been protesting against the Houthi movement, which overran Sana'a in September and formally took power last week.

While the CNN quoted an airport official as saying that the Houthis seized the weapons of many US Marines' at the airport, with the American troops also handing over some to random airport officials, a senior US military official told the news agency the marines disabled their weapons and gave them to a Yemeni security detail as they were flying commercial.

"The destruction of weapons at the embassy and the airport was carried out in accordance with an approved destruction plan."

However, the US Marine Corps have denied the allegations and said in a statement: "All crew served weapons were destroyed at the embassy prior to movement.

"None of them were 'handed over' in any way to anyone. The destruction of weapons at the embassy and the airport was carried out in accordance with an approved destruction plan.

"To be clear: no marine handed a weapon to a Houthi, or had one taken from him."

The US' withdrawal of its diplomatic staff was followed by the UK and France. Members of the German Embassy have said they will follow suit after getting rid of sensitive documents.


Image: Aircraft parked at Yemen's Sanaa International Airport. Photo: courtesy of Konstantin von Wedelstaedt.