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State Dept. cuts staff in Yemen years after embassy closed: report

State Dept. cuts staff in Yemen years after embassy closed: report
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Three years after Yemen’s civil war forced the U.S. embassy to close, the State Department has laid off 360 local staff members, according to Reuters.

Ambassador Matthew Tueller said in a letter obtained by the news agency that U.S. regulations on suspended embassies prevented him from keeping the staff members employed.

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Workers will get full severance payments and are encouraged to reapply when the embassy reopens, Tueller reportedly said.

"We are extremely grateful for the service of each and every one of these individuals and hope to work with them at some point in the future when we can safely resume operations in Yemen,” a State Department official said, according to Reuters.

In 2015, the United States closed its embassy in Yemen as the country descended into civil war. The conflict led the former Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his staff to go into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. ambassador to Yemen is also currently operating out of Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, the United Nations estimated 10,000 people had died because of the war. Two million people were estimated to have been displaced. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war in 2015, but the conflict is no closer to ending.

The U.S. has supported the coalition mainly by supplying intelligence and weapons. In the south of Yemen, the U.S. continues to go after al Qaeda.