Mission to Rescue Americans in Yemen Deemed Too Risky
The United States has no current plans to evacuate U.S. citizens stuck in Yemen, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Due to the presence of Al Qaeda and instability in the war-torn nation, officials reportedly claim that sending in U.S. forces would put too many lives at risk.
However, many are pointing to previous evacuations, and questioning why Yemen is any different:
“The U.S. has evacuated Americans from many conflict zones. It ferried citizens out of Egypt during Arab Spring unrest in 2011, and out of Lebanon in 2006 when Israel began its war against the Shiite militant group Hezbollah. In the 1990s, there were evacuations from Albania, Liberia and Central African Republic during civil wars and unrest.”
WSJ notes that this situation is different because Yemen has been a slow-building crisis, about which Americans have been warned for years.
RT reports that State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke put it bluntly:
“For more than 15 years the State Department has been advising US citizens to defer travel to Yemen. We have been advising those US citizens who are in Yemen to depart.”
Rather than heed the warning, many Americans have gone to Yemen anyway for business and familial purposes.
As somewhat of a consolation prize, White House spokeswoman Marie Harf announced an online service that will alert Americans stuck in Yemen about possible means of exit when they become available.
USA Today reports that several lawsuits have been filed, demanding the United States rescue those trapped in Yemen.
Additionally, those running a website called Stuckinyemen.com claim that 700 people and counting have registered and need help.
Zahra Billoo, one of the creators of Stuck In Yemen, spoke to RT:
“Every other country is working to get its citizens out. The U.S. has said…you’re safer if you don’t leave, if you stay there–which makes no sense.”
According to RT, Russia has rescued more than 1,700 people from Yemen, including some Americans.
In a tweet one lady blamed it on Saudi –
I’m still stuck in Yemen with my family, was about to get out until Saudi bombed airport and runway.
This is one of those ‘between a rock and a hard place’ situations. I get it, they were told not to go. But they went anyway and now we’re leaving them behind. Upwards of 700 Americans are stuck there and we’re not going to get them.
I hate the idea of leaving people behind, even stupid ones, but on the other hand, I hate it that first responders have to risk their lives to save stupid people. No doubt you too have seen the videos where people have to be rescued because they drove down a flooded road and their car floated away. They knew better but did it anyway, and now a first responder is dangling on a rope from a helicopter to save them from the flood.
Yemen is the same thing, except on a larger scale. We rescued people numerous times, and excluding Bergdahl the latest was in 2011. It seems the State Dept started their new tradition in 2012 at a place called Benghazi. If that, and the other warnings given to Americans, still wasn’t enough, well…you’re on your own. You should have left when they shut the embassy down.
There’s a better chance of these people being rescued by Russia than the US.