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US closes embassy in Yemen amid unrest

The U.S. has closed its embassy in Yemen’s capital because of security concerns, the State Department said Monday.

The closure comes after the resignation of Yemen’s president, pressured by rebel forces.

{mosads}”We are continuously analyzing the security conditions and will resume consular operations as soon as our analysis indicates we are able to do so safely,” State said in a notice announcing the measures.

The embassy in Sanaa will not be offering consular services — like issuing visas — and will only have a “limited ability” to help in emergency situations involving U.S. citizens.

The department advised U.S. citizens to make plans to leave “immediately” and said the U.S. government was not currently planning to provide charter flights to help Americans evacuate.

Yemen, a close U.S. counterterrorism ally, is the site of growing unrest. Since September, Shiite rebels who say they are underrepresented by the government have been in control of parts of the capital. Last week, they surrounded the presidential residence.

The president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and members of his government resigned last Thursday.

“I think it’s very important to recognize that governance in Yemen has always been difficult,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “We will continue to press on the ground, including today, to make decisions transparently, pursuant to a political agreement, so that we can work with them to keep on the offensive against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”
On Monday, a suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed three men said to be affiliated with al Qaeda.
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