Marines Evacuate Yemen Embassy

The US Embassy in Yemen was closed and evacuated on Wednesday, as Houthis rebels continue their attempt to take over the Yemini government. Both France and Britain also moved to close their embassies and remove their diplomatic personnel, due to the increased turmoil and instability in the country's capital, Sanaa.

The Houthis rebels are followers of the Shiite Zaydi sect in the Sunni-majority Yemen, and have not only forced the resignation of the Yemeni President and his cabinet, they have also dissolved Yemen's parliament and have beaten, stabbed, and arrested dozens of people protesting their power grab.

More than 25 vehicles used by the American diplomatic personnel were seized by the Houthis after the embassy staff were evacuated, and although the Marines were forced to leave their personal sidearms on the vehicles (since they were leaving on commercial flights), a statement from the USMC made clear that all weapons were "rendered inoperable" before they left. All the crew-served weapons at the embassy were similarly disabled before the Marines evacuated the embassy staff.

This embassy closure has forced the CIA to significantly scale back its counter-terrorism operations in Yemen, a damaging blow to one of al-Qaida's most dangerous affiliate's.