The UN Security Council and the United States have condemned the intrusion and seizure of the now-closed US Embassy in Yemen and the detention of its local staff.

A statement on Thursday approved by all 15 members of the UN's most powerful body called for "an immediate withdrawal of all Houthi elements from the premises" and "the immediate and safe release of those still under detention."

The US embassy in Sanaa has been closed since 2015.

The Security Council stressed that the Vienna convention prohibits any intrusion into diplomatic property as well as the "inviolability" and "immunity" of the premises from searches and requisition — and that property and archives of a diplomatic mission that has been temporarily closed "must be respected and protected."

The council's statement followed a demand on Nov. 17 by the United Nations for the release of two U.N. staffers detained earlier this month by the Yemen rebels.

Yemen has been convulsed by civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthis took control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of the northern part of the country, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia.

Report by AP

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