EXCLUSIVE – Yemeni-Americans are stranded in war-torn zone – U.S. authorities refuse to evacuate them

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SHAFAQNA – Hana Kulaib is a 30-year old mother of two, from Dearborn, Michigan. A Yemeni-American with several close family members in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital she always tries to visit her ancestral home as often as possible.

In late January, Hana came to look after her auntie after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hana now finds herself stranded in a war zone. Hana arrived in Sana’a just as the U.S. was pulling out its diplomats and military personnel in face of rising violence in the country.

And though, Hana knew the risks involved with her travel she revealed in an interview with Shafaqna that her several attempts to reach the American authorities had failed.

There are several hundreds of Yemeni-Americans currently in Yemen and thus far Washington has made no attempt to reach them, evacuate them or even them inform them of developments.

As Saudi Arabia indiscriminately bombs Sana’a and other cities across Yemen, hundreds of people have already lost their lives and thousands have been injured.

“We have been abandoned by our administration! Washington does not care of we live or die, we are just Arabs for them … our blood is cheap to them. President Obama often talks about human rights and moral but what I have witnessed in Yemen is everything but. The Saudis and their allies – the U.S. included – are bombing civilians areas without warnings. Day and night we are being pounded on … Last night [Monday] was horrifying. Sana’a sky was on fire. Explosions so loud that the ground shook under our feet. My children have been left terrified, I’m terrified!

“We’re not feeling so great coming from the States to this kind of situation, I never thought I would say this, but we really don’t know if we [will] wake up the next morning. That’s how intense the situation is in terms of security.”

Yet while China has evacuated its nationals by sea and Pakistan and India are flying their citizens out, the United States has no plans to rescue Americans in Yemen — at least not for now. “We were actually really disappointed that, because [even] Somalia … has evacuated their nationals,” Nasser says.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson reiterated the official US position in an email Shafaqna “There are no plans for a US government-sponsored evacuation of US citizens at this time,” wrote media officer Niles Cole. “We encourage U.S. citizens to monitor the news and seek available departure options from Yemen, via air, land, or sea.”

But that became less of an option last week, when the Saudis declared a no-fly zone over Yemen. “Now we’re not allowed to fly out,” Hana said “And we would think, because [the] U.S. is supporting Saudi Arabia through logistics, that they would evacuate [U.S.] citizens. “

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