A national daily cited an official for the State Department who said that any evacuation point in a country where an affiliate of al-Qaeda is active and with security overall very unstable, puts Americans as well as any military asset from the U.S. involved at a very high risk.
Instead, a spokesperson from the State Department pointed to an online system where U.S. citizens stranded in Yemen could register to be given updates on the different opportunities that arise to leave the war-torn nation.
The department has talked as well to other countries about American being part of their rescue mission, said the State Department spokesperson.
The decision of helping to save Americans puts authorities in the U.S. into a tight spot. They have to choose between rescuing U.S. citizens abroad or becoming a target for different armed militant groups such as the Houthi rebels that are both anti-American and affiliates of al-Qaeda.
Usually, reported the national daily, the U.S. evacuates its citizens when the commercial methods of transportation have been cut off.
However, the U.S. State Department was clear about saying that no such operation was being set up for Yemen, where the airports have been bombs while seaports have been closed to any commercial traffic.
The crisis in Yemen had been getting worse for quite some time and the State Department for decades has warned travelers not to visit the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa the capital was closed back in February.
Despite these warnings, U.S. citizens have continued to come and go in Yemen. One American from New York said Yemen was not like Iraq or Syria where there was full blown wars. She fled the family villa in Aden when the violence began escalating.
Muslim rights activists filed a lawsuit in a Washington federal court trying to get the trapped Americans out of Yemen. The different groups launched a site online called stuckinyemen.com for U.S. citizens who are requesting to leave. The site has drawn over 700 people said it organizers.