In laying out his strategy to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria through airstrikes two weeks ago, President Obama cited Somalia and Yemen as examples of where the United States has been successful in fighting terrorism.
“This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama said.
Now just two weeks later, the State Department has issued a travel warning for…Yemen.
Today, the Department of State ordered a temporary reduction in the number of U.S. Government personnel in Yemen. We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution and in response to recent political developments and the changing, unpredictable security situation in Yemen. The Embassy did not suspend operations and will continue to operate, albeit with reduced staff.
Maintaining the security of our staff is among the highest priorities of the Department. We are continuing to closely monitor developments in Yemen and will calibrate our response as the situation develops.
Consular services have not been affected by this temporary reduction in personnel. U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Yemen are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (www.travel.state.gov/step) and to review the U.S. Embassy’s website and the State Department’s travel warning issued on September 25, 2014.
U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen despite the Travel Warning in effect should limit nonessential travel within the country, be aware of their surroundings whether in their residences or moving about, and make their own contingency emergency plans, and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.
I assume the American people can have full faith in the Obama administration’s strategy to successfully fight ISIS moving forward.