U.S. Pulling Diplomats From Yemen, Advises Other Americans to Leave

SHAFAQNA –  As the political and security situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, the U.S. State Department on Thursday said it has begun removing some of its diplomats from U.S. facilities there and advised Americans living there to leave the country. “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,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement, adding that the U.S. embassy will continue to operate with reduced staff. A separate travel warning also tied the decision to potential military escalation around Yemen. Shiite militants seized control over much of Yemen’s capital this past weekend, prompting the prime minister’s resignation and forcing a deal to form a new government.

The militants, known as Houthis, agreed to a United-Nations-mediated ceasefire with Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour al Hadi and most of the country’s major political parties.

The travel warning issued on Thursday cautioned American citizens of a heightened threat level from terrorist activities and civil unrest. The warning cited the activities of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and said the U.S. is “highly concerned” about possible attacks on U.S. citizens and risk of kidnappings.

While the U.S. has pulled embassy personnel, it doesn’t plan to conduct government-sponsored evacuations, the travel warning said.

In May, the U.S. embassy in Yemen was closed for almost five weeks because of security threats, according to the State Department.

Write to Felicia Schwartz at Felicia.Schwartz@wsj.com

Source : http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pulling-diplomats-from-yemen-advises-other-americans-to-leave-1411752928

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