Many U.S. troops have been evacuated from the city of Yemen, as it has experienced turmoil lately. After suicide bombers, claimed by ISIS, killed over 100 people in Sana’a, the U.S. decided to withdraw military personnel from al-Anad air base, including many special forces who were there to train Yemeni fighters on launching attacks against al-Qaeda. About 100 troops have been evacuated from the base near al-Houta after the city was stormed by al-Qaeda fighters on Friday. Though the al-Qaeda militants have supposedly been driven out of the city, the U.S. is still continuing the evacuation.
Yemen is experiencing a turf battle as al-Qaeda’s base is currently set up in the capital, though Houthi rebels and ISIS have both been moving in. Houthi rebels stormed Sana’a in February, also the same month when the U.S. embassy closed in that area. They put President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi under house arrest, though sources claim he managed to escape. He addressed the public, demanding that Houthi fighters withdraw from Yemen, but instead the Houthi rebels mobilized against those loyal to the president. ISIS is also moving in, as they set up a base in the city in November, pushing the battle further.
With ISIS, Houthi, and al-Qaeda hosting a sort of “territorial” fight, security in Yemen has become a major concern. The United Nations (UN) Security Council made announcements of an emergency meeting. This is when the U.S. made an official announcement that they were evacuating U.S. troops, over the security concerns. Many of these troops were initially there to train Yemeni troops in attacks on al-Qaeda, but now the sources have confirmed that the last of the troops have been pulled out, leaving Yemeni troops to fend for their own.
As a result, forces are stepping in remotely to try and help the city. According to sources, Washington provided Yemen’s government with financial and logistical support. On Sunday at 3 p.m., their time, the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis. The problem comes in with the fact that Sana’a borders many of the countries where U.S. does trade, including Saudi Arabia where the nations get much of their oil. As well, the fact that the area has been in chaos since 2012, over the last election, is a large concern, especially as the current president keeps receiving threats along with citizens of the country.
The problem has forced the evacuation of U.S. troops from Yemen, with no word on if or when they may return. Until the U.N. can determine the best course of action to take in securing the country, countries have no real choice but to sit back and watch the damage. With the danger in the city in Sana’a, the U.S. was not willing to risk the harm to American troops stationed at surrounding bases. It is a good thing that U.S. troops have all made it back to America alive, but it only sparks further worry over the safety of the lives of those still in Yemen.
By Crystal Boulware