US continuing security ops in Yemen after closing embassy

- Western nations, including the U.S., France and Britain shuttered their embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, earlier this week.

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. will continue its security operations in Yemen despite shuttering its embassy earlier this week, the Pentagon confirmed Friday.

“We still have special operations forces in Yemen. We're still capable of conducting counter-terrorism operations in Yemen,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “We're still conducting limited counter-terrorism training with Yemeni security forces outside of Sanaa.”

According to the Yemeni government, al-Qaeda remains active in several parts of the country's south, from which it stages sporadic attacks on army and police personnel.

Western nations, including the U.S., France and Britain shuttered their embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Wednesday amid ongoing strife that has led to the ouster of the central government. Germany and Italy followed suit on Friday.

Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels dissolved the parliament last week and said they would establish a "transitional council" and a government of technocrats to run the country for two years.

The militants last month placed Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his cabinet under house arrest. They resigned shortly thereafter.

Yemen has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests forced autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012 after 33 years in power.

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