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    US Denies Suspension of Counterterrorism Operation in Yemen Amid Turmoil

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)
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    The US National Security Council denied the suspension of the US counterterrorism operation in Yemen after Houthi rebels forced Yemeni President to step down.

    MOSCOW, January 24 (Sputnik) – The US National Security Council has denied reports that the United States had been forced to suspend counterterrorism operation in Yemen amid the country's deepening political turmoil, which put into question further anti-terror efforts.

    “The political instability in Yemen has not forced us to suspend counterterrorism operations,” National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey told Fox News Saturday. Baskey added that the United States was still committed to “disrupt the continuing, imminent” terror threats in Yemen.

    On Friday, Washington Post reported citing senior US officials that the United States was forced to abandon its counterterror operations in Yemen, as Shiite rebels had taken control of Yemeni security agencies, and thus undermined US air campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group.

    Shiite Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni presidential palace in Sanaa on Thursday, forcing President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to step down. The US State Department ordered the withdrawal of some of the diplomatic personnel from the US embassy in Sanaa amid the turmoil.

    The US strategy of counterterrorism fight in Yemen has relied on drones, which carry out surveillance and air strikes on extremists, as well as training efforts by the US instructors for local security forces.

    In September 2014, US President Barack Obama praised the US actions in Yemen as a pattern for counter-terror efforts elsewhere, including Iraq and Syria.

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)

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    counter-terrorism, US National Security Council, Yemen, United States
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