Some US personnel are bugging out of Yemen.
The State Department on Thursday ordered some of its diplomats and other government workers at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country because of deteriorating security amid unrest and sectarian clashes that have left Shiite rebels in control of the capital.
“Today, the Department of State ordered a temporary reduction in the number of U.S. government personnel in Yemen,” the department said in a statement. “We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution and in response to recent political developments and the changing, unpredictable security situation in Yemen.”
There is also a separate travel warning for US citizens — don’t go to Yemen, more or less.
Yemen is one of two countries that President Obama hailed as models of successful counterterrorism during his address on confronting the Islamic State, on September 10.
” I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama said.
“It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”
About two weeks later, the world sees Americans fleeing Yemen in the face of Islamist unrest.
Yemen is a mess. A rebel group called the Hawthis defeated some Sunni Islamist rebels over the weekend. The Hawthis are enemies of al Qaeda, but they’re apparently backed by Iran.