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U.S. armed forces attempt to free hostages

WASHINGTON – Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby on Rescue Operation in Yemen:

The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of hostages, including U.S. citizen Luke Somers, held in Yemen by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. This operation was conducted in partnership with the armed forces of Yemen and involved air and ground components. Some hostages were rescued, but others — including Somers — were not present at the targeted location. Details about the mission remain classified.

We are only acknowledging the fact of the operation now to provide accurate information given that it is being widely reported in the public domain.

As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. We use the full breadth of our military, intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.

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