NewsUS, France and UK close embassies in Yemen

US, France and UK close embassies in Yemen

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The United States, Britain and France said Wednesday they were closing their embassies in Yemen following the Iranian-linked Shiite rebels seizing power in the poorest Arab country.

The embassy closures came as Houthi rebels financed and supported by Iran, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and dressed in police uniforms and civilian clothes, patrolled the main boulevards of the capital, Sanaa, some in pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns.

The United States, Britain and France said Wednesday they were closing their embassies in Yemen following the Iranian-linked Shiite rebels seizing power in the poorest Arab country.

The embassy closures came as Houthi rebels financed and supported by Iran, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and dressed in police uniforms and civilian clothes, patrolled the main boulevards of the capital, Sanaa, some in pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns.

Jen Psaki, a spokesperson in Washington, said late Tuesday: “The Department of State has decided to suspend our embassy operations and our embassy staff have been temporarily relocated out of Sana’a.”

In a separate travel warning, the State Dept. said it currently had no plans for a government-sponsored evacuation of American citizens but urged extreme caution amid an ongoing risk of kidnapping.

Early Wednesday morning, U.K. Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood urged British citizens still in Yemen to “leave immediately” as the British Embassy evacuated its staff.

The diplomatic missions of many Arab Gulf countries opposing the Houthis already have evacuated their staff.

During the past week many officials of the Iranian regime have taken credit for training and arming the Houthis in Yemen.

 

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