00:35 GMT28 September 2020
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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)
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    Despite removing all US Special Forces from riot-struck Yemen, Washington is ready to continue its military operations against terrorism.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will continue counterterrorism operations in Yemen following the removal of all US government and Special Forces in response to political instability and fighting in the country, the US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said on Monday.

    “Politically instability in Yemen has not forced us to suspend counterterrorism operations,” Harf stated. “Although we have temporarily removed US government personnel from Yemen, we continue to actively monitor threats and have the resources prepared in the region to address them.”

    The political and security situation in Yemen has deteriorated since January 2015, when the opposition Shiite Houthi fighters seized the presidential palace and government buildings in the capital Sanaa and forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the government to resign.

    The fighting has pitted the Houthi rebels, forces loyal to the government and al-Qaeda against each other.

    On February 11, the United States suspended work at the US Embassy in Sanaa, citing ongoing terrorist activities and civil unrest. Hadi escaped house arrest later in the month, fled to the southern port city of Aden and withdrew his resignation.

    UN Special Envoy for Yemen Jamal Benomar called on Sunday for a political solution to prevent the country from sliding into civil war, warning that Yemen could end up like Iraq, Syria or Libya.

    Yemen is a base for al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and the Islamic State has taken advantage of the security vacuum to increase its presence. The United States regularly carries out counter-terrorism operations and drone strikes against suspected militants there.

    Last week, a twin suicide explosion at two mosques in the capital killed at least 137 people. A Sunni militant group affiliated with Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks targeting Houthi worshippers.

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)

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    U.S. Department of State, counterterrorism, Houthis, Marie Harf, Yemen, United States
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