Embassies in Yemen close as thousands protest militia rule

The United States stopped work at its embassy and withdrew its diplomatic staff on Tuesday.

By REUTERS
February 11, 2015 14:25
2 minute read.
A Shi'ite Houthi militant poses for a photo during a mass funeral for victims of a suicide attack

A Shi'ite Houthi militant poses for a photo during a mass funeral for victims of a suicide attack on followers of the Shi'ite Houthi group in Sanaa. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The United States, Britain and France closed their embassies in Yemen over security fears as the takeover of the country by a Shi'ite Muslim militia group threatened all-out civil war.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the central city of Taiz on Wednesday and hundreds more in the capital Sanaa in the largest protests yet against the Houthi movement, which overran Sanaa in September and formally took power last week.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The United States stopped work at its embassy and withdrew its diplomatic staff on Tuesday.

"Recent unilateral actions disrupted the political transition process in Yemen, creating the risk that renewed violence would threaten Yemenis and the diplomatic community in Sanaa," US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

France and Britain followed suit on Wednesday, while employees of the German embassy said its mission was also getting rid of sensitive documents and would soon close.

The Houthi movement has called its moves a "revolution" and says it advanced from its traditional redoubts in northern Yemen to rid the country of corruption and economic peril.

Their slogan is "Death to America" and their leader Abdel Malik al-Houthi has blasted what he calls Western meddling in Yemen.



But Houthi struck a conciliatory tone in a televised speech on Tuesday as dialogue continued among Yemeni parties who mostly oppose the Houthi decision to dissolve parliament.

"It is in the interest of every power, domestic and foreign, to stabilize this country," he said.

Opponents of the Iranian-backed group, including Yemen's rich Sunni Gulf neighbors, have decried the takeover as a coup.

Houthi fighters, bedecked in tribal robes and automatic rifles, were out in force manning checkpoints and guarding government buildings they control in the capital.

Gunmen shot in the air and thrusted daggers at protesters opposing their rule. In Taiz, which the Houthis do not control, huge crowds carrying banners chanted slogans against the group and called for their downfall.

Fanning out into Yemen's west and center in recent months, Houthi forces advanced far south through several districts on Tuesday night according to local officials.

Leaders and Sunni tribesmen in the southern and eastern regions, which the group has yet to seize are arming themselves against their push and are in some cases making common cause with Yemeni Al Qaeda militants, leading to fears of an all-out sectarian war.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
German Jewish council urges end of Iran-Germany trade

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL