White House 'assessing' ouster of Yemen's president

The White House said Thursday it was "still assessing" the decision of Yemen's president to resign after being confined to his home by Shiite rebels who have effectively seized the capital city of Sanaa.

"We continue to urge the parties to pursue a peaceful political transition led by Yemen’s legitimate political institutions," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who added that the safety of U.S. personnel in the area remained the president's top concern.

Earnest said Obama was being regularly briefed on the security situation, but that for now the administration had determined no change to the U.S. Embassy's security posture was necessary.

Earnest also said the administration remained vigilant about the danger of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The White House has previously touted its work with the Yemeni government as an example of its counterterrorism policy working, but the ouster of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi will prompt new questions about the effectiveness of that strategy.

“We’re very cognizant of the threat that they pose to the United States and to our interests around the globe," Earnest said.