UAE Helped To Free an American Hostage in Yemen

March 11, 2019

An American hostage was freed in Yemen in February after staying for almost 18 months in captivity. The hostage was rescued in an armed attack led by the United Arab Emirates with assistance from the United States, according to the US and Yemeni officials.
The hostage, Danny Lavone Burch, had been held by a criminal Yemeni gang which has a record of kidnapping Westerners for ransom money. The gang was also known to sell the hostages to a powerful local Al Qaida affiliate.

US President Donald Trump received Burch at the White House on Wednesday, ascribing his release as an outcome of immense help from UAE and all of their friends. Even though the President refused to offer any details; however, he stated that the rescue of Burch was one of the few negotiations that are taking place all over the world to free Americans who are held hostages.
On condition of anonymity, over a half-dozen American and Yemeni officials stated about the rescue operation in parts.

Burch was saved from a cellar where he was being held in a turbulent part of Yemen. One senior Yemeni official said seven people were arrested in the raid.
There were contradictory accounts of which military force initiated the raid. Some stated that it was Emirati special operation forces.

A senior Yemeni official stated that the raid was integrated by the UAE but carried out by the Hadrami Elite Forces, a Yemeni special operations group that functions under Emirati command.
The report stated that the kidnappers constitute a dangerous criminal gang involved in kidnapping, road blocking and armed robbery.

Former US officials states the gang had indicated that it demanded millions of dollars for Burch’s safe release. It was feared, by the former officials, that the gang might sell Burch to Al Qaida in Yemen.

In past years, Huraiqidan has been charged of holding a Norwegian aid worker, an Italian diplomat and a German official. Huraiqidan usually used to hold his victims in Marib, where he lives in a protected compound. During his captivity, the German official was questioned by a reporter with a local television channel.

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