U.S. Embassy Staff Evacuated From Yemen


In the latest response to intelligence apparently indicating an increased risk of terror attacks, most of the people working at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen have been evacuated:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military evacuated non-essential U.S. government personnel from Yemen on Tuesday due to the high risk of attack by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

The State Department said in a travel warning that it ordered the evacuation “due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks” and said U.S. citizens in Yemen should leave immediately because of an “extremely high” security threat level.

“As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation,” the travel warning said. The U.S. Embassy is located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

Additionally, there are reports of a U.S. drone strike in the country yesterday:

Yemeni security officials said a suspected U.S. drone strike at about 2 a.m. local time Tuesday killed four alleged al-Qaida members in a volatile eastern province of the country. The drone fired a missile at a car carrying the four men, setting it on fire and killing all of them, the officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear if the decision to evacuate the embassy, made earlier, was connected to the drone strike.

The Yemeni officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to talk to the media, said they believe one of the dead is Saleh Jouti, a senior al-Qaida member. It’s the fourth drone attack in the past two weeks to hit a car believed to be carrying al-Qaida members.

Much like Dave Schuler, I’m not sure what to make of these reports about terror threats and the embassy closings that have taken place in response. On some level, though it does appear that the Administration is taking a “better safe than sorry” approach in no small part due to what happened last year in Benghazi.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Intelligence, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    On some level, though it does appear that the Administration is taking a “better safe than sorry” approach in no small part due to what happened last year in Benghazi.

    This is ENTIRELY a response to what transpired in Benghazi, and of the subsequent farcical investigation being run by Congressman Issa.

  2. CSK says:

    The Brits have evacuated their embassy personnel as well.

  3. Andre Kenji says:

    Italians newspapers are saying that US consulate in Milan has been evacuated.

  4. John Burgess says:

    The Brits, French, Germans, Dutch, and Norwegians have all shut down their embassies in Sanaa. Obviously, the US is sharing the data, but those countries are making their own assessments of the dangers they see in the data. And yes, even they may prefer “better safe than sorry”… that’s a fairly bureaucratic attitude.

  5. fred says:

    CNN Special tonight on Benghazi is a joke. Erin Burnett is the most cunning journalist on TV and seems to delight in taking digs at Pres O and Administration. Her cunning is not disguised enough though and most of us see thru her agenda. CNN should fire her for putting national secuirty at more risk. Don’t watch this joke show tonight.

  6. Tillman says:

    I don’t know, this seems a little too big to be just in response to political posturing over Benghazi.