US to Citizens: Embassy's Closed, Get Out of Yemen
But counterterror ops will continue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 10, 2015 11:57 PM CST
Updated Feb 11, 2015 12:15 AM CST
Houthi Shiite Yemenis wearing army uniforms stand guard outside parliament during a meeting in Sanaa earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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(Newser) – The State Department says it has closed the US Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis and security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels. The department says it has suspended operations at the embassy in Sanaa and relocated its remaining diplomatic personnel "due to the ongoing political instability and the uncertain security situation." The embassy had been operating with only a skeleton staff for some weeks amid deteriorating conditions.

The State Department also issued a travel warning advising US citizens to defer travel to Yemen and urging Americans currently living in Yemen to depart. Officials say Marines providing security at the embassy will also likely leave, but American forces conducting counterterrorism missions against al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate in other parts of the country will not be affected. The US "remains firmly committed to supporting all Yemenis who continue to work toward a peaceful, prosperous and unified Yemen," a State Department spokeswoman says.