CNN reports: “My son served in the army for four years. In Iraq. He served because we love our country. As we should. Now look at us?”
Muna Mansour is gesturing around her at the slatted cargo hold she and her family — all nine of them — are trying to get comfortable in. They’re squeezed in with two other families. On the ground by my feet, Muna’s middle grandchild is sleeping, curled up beside an oil drum.
“There’s nowhere to sleep, there’s no food — you can see how people are just thrown around all over the place,” she says.
Muna is from Buffalo in upstate New York. Her family is among the dozens of Americans caught in the crossfire of warring parties in Yemen. And although many other countries evacuated their citizens, India most notably ferrying out around 5,000, the United States has said it is too dangerous for them to directly evacuate American nationals.
“I was there when the Indians picked up 200 of their people from the port. It was embarrassing. We were just sitting there waiting for someone to come and say ‘OK where are the Americans, let’s pick them up,'” she says. [Continue reading…]
McClatchy reports: The Obama administration so far has declined to organize a rescue mission for the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. citizens in Yemen. U.S. officials have said they believe it is too dangerous for U.S. military assets to enter Yemeni waters and air space. They’ve also suggested that organizing Americans to meet at a single departure point would put them at risk of attack from al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula or other terrorist groups seeking American hostages.
That, however, has left Americans largely on their own to find a way out of the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa has been closed for months, and the last American troops in the country were evacuated last month, a few days before the Saudi bombing campaign began.
In a message posted on its website, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa advises that an Indian naval vessel will be leaving Hodeidah for Djibouti and that it had been informed that Americans would be welcomed. But the embassy also noted that “unfortunately, we don’t have information on who to contact to board this ship.” [Continue reading…]