The PJ Tatler

India Saves 1,000 Non-Indians from 41 Countries in Yemen Evacuations

India is winding down its evacuations from war-torn Yemen, and the numbers are impressive.

After the airports closed and many foreigners, including Americans, were left stranded with no way to leave the country, the Indian government began using military transport and special Air India flights to evacuate people from Sana’a to Djibouti. The State Department advised Americans there to contact Indian diplomats for exit out of the country.

About 4,600 Indian citizens were rescued. And nearly 1,000 people from 41 other countries were saved, as well, including three Pakistanis. Pakistan also rescued 11 Indians, according to The Times of India.

India’s minister of external affairs, retired Gen. Vijay Kumar Singh, led the charge, accompanying many of the flights personally and tweeting about the operations. Singh used to be chief of staff for the Indian Army.

Upon arriving in Delhi today, Singh told reporters “there was trouble in evacuating them, yet we did our task.”

India now plans to close its embassy in Sana’a. The U.S. closed its embassy in early February, and weeks later citizens were told to evacuate yet airports were closed and a suggested evacuation ship couldn’t dock.

Jamal al-Labani of Hayward, Calif., was killed last week by shrapnel from a mortar round in Aden. His family told CNN that he was trying to get out of the country, as directed by the State Department, but didn’t know how. He’d talked about crossing the border by land into Oman and then flying to Egypt, but was killed before he could put that plan into action.

The Obama administration maintains that, despite the fall of the country and stranded Americans, its Yemen policy remains successful.