The United States has officially abandoned any plans it may have had to rescue Americans trapped inside war-torn Yemen, calling such a mission “too risky.”
President Obama’s State Department fears that such an operation would place U.S. military at risk from attack by al-Qaida-backed rebels.
At least eight other countries have launched operations to evacuate their citizens, according to Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin.
One of those trapped is San Francisco resident Talal Hameed, 32, who went to Yemen to visit family and now finds himself one of over 700 Americans trapped there.
“In the movies, the U.S. doesn’t leave anyone behind,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “That’s the movies, but it’s not the reality.”
Rescue of Americans is normally the protocol in these situations. Most recently, the State Department requested the Pentagon issue orders to evacuate Americans trapped in Egypt during its “Arab Spring” uprisings, and thousands from Lebanon in 2006.
Not this time. The Journal reported:
Instead, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf has pointed to an online system where Americans stranded in Yemen can register to receive updates on opportunities to leave the country. The department has also talked to other countries about Americans joining their rescue missions, she said.
The issue of a rescue attempt was first addressed early last month by Harf when she claimed during a State Department briefing that Americans trapped in Yemen were “alerted to opportunities” to leave the country.
In response, an Associated Press reporter — seeing the handwriting on the wall — asked if those opportunities included swimming to safety.
India is among the other countries that have launched rescue operations out of Yemen, and not just its own citizens. It also evacuated a dozen Americans.
India rescues foreigners including Americans from Yemen.Proud moment!!! #WelcomeGeneral http://t.co/Cr7t7uaobi pic.twitter.com/HPMMUBwZ8y
— Rita Gupta (@ritagupta74) April 9, 2015
That was indeed a proud moment for India. For America, not so much.
OUCH! AP reporter asks Harf if she wants Americans trapped in Yemen to ‘swim’ home
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