Yemen Political Unrest Impacting U.S. Military, Pentagon Says

Says U.S. military ready to help evacuate embassy personnel, if asked by the State Department.

Phil Stewart
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Houthi militiamen and soldiers stand behind a roadblock at the scene of a blast near the republican palace in Sanaa February 7, 2015. Credit: Reuters
Phil Stewart

REUTERS - The Pentagon on Tuesday acknowledged that Yemen's political unrest was impacting its counter-terrorism capabilities but said it was still training some Yemeni forces and could still carry out operations inside the country against al Qaeda militants.

"There's no question as a result of the political instability in Yemen that our counter-terrorism capabilities have been ... affected," Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told a news briefing.

"As I stand here today, we continue to conduct some training. We continue to have the capability - unilaterally if need be - of conducting counter-terrorism operations inside Yemen."

Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday the United States was closing its embassy in Yemen because of the unpredictable security situation in a country where Iran-backed rebels have seized control of the capital.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the status of the embassy but said the U.S. military was ready to help evacuate embassy personnel, if asked by the State Department.

Comments