Dem: 'Difficult to imagine' worse outcome in Yemen

Dem: 'Difficult to imagine' worse outcome in Yemen
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows - Cheney removal, CDC guidance reverberate Schiff: Biden administration needs to 'push harder' to stop violence in Mideast Sunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said he would have trouble creating a bleaker scenario in Yemen than the current situation there.


“It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous downward spiral than we have seen in Yemen the last six months,” he said in a statement.

“The sectarian divide is widening; a geographic chasm has opened between North and South; the proxy battleground there between Iran and Saudi Arabia has intensified; and Al Qaeda and ISIS have a new opportunity to grow in this vast ungovernable space,” he added.

The U.S. evacuated its remaining personnel in Yemen Sunday over rising chaos there. Schiff said America’s departure leaves the Middle Eastern nation vulnerable to terrorist influences.

“We will need to bring a new sense of urgency to diplomatic efforts to hold the country together, and make serious adjustments to our counterterrorism strategy given the diminished American footprint and visibility into events there,” Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, concluded.

Suicide bombings rocked two mosques in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, on Friday. The twin blasts killed at least 130 worshippers and wounded another 300 people.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday said attacks like these could soon reach U.S. borders. The Texas Republican said he worries America’s absence from Yemen will embolden radicals.

“Yemen is one of the most dangerous spots in the world,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.” “And so I think these developments in Yemen greatly disturb me, because of the – their potential to attack the United States.”

Yemen erupted in turmoil last year when the Houthis, a Shiite rebel faction, ousted the existing government from power.

They intensified the power struggle last month by ejecting former Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from Sanaa. The former leader has since barricaded in Aden, his hometown in southern Yemen.

Yemen’s civil strife has also drawn fresh interest from terrorist organizations. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has long been active there, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is increasing its operations there too.