U.S. orders some diplomats to leave Yemen

Travelers walk to the departure lounge at Sanaa International Airport as international airliners resume flights to Sanaa on September 24, 2014 after they have suspended flights to the Yemeni capital due to the threat of violence. (AFP)

The U.S. State Department ordered on Thursday some diplomats and other government workers at the U.S. Embassy to leave Yemen amid sectarian unrest that have left Shiite rebels in control of the capital, the Associated Press reported.

“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,” it added.

The statement was issued given “the continued civil unrest and the potential for military escalation,” a separate travel warning for U.S. citizens said

The travel warning also said that the embassy in Sanaa would remain open with a majority of staff remaining and that the relocation of staff would be temporary.

Heavily-armed Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels took almost total control of the capital Sanaa on Monday, seizing government offices and blocking main streets a day after a power-sharing deal was signed with the Yemeni President.

The Houthis signed the U.N.-brokered deal on Sunday, an agreement that gave them unprecedented influence in the presidency and over the Cabinet.

It calls for an immediate cease-fire and the formation of a technocratic government within a month after consultations with all political parties.

(With The Associated Press)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42