About 100 U.S. Special Operations Forces have been ordered to evacuate Yemen because of a dramatic increase in sectarian violence. The U.S. commandos, including Green Berets and Navy Seals, have been training Yemeni military forces in counter-terrorism operations, but the Americans have not been involved in direct ground combat maneuvers against militants. Officials said earlier, four suicide bombers hit a pair of crowded mosques in the capital of Sanaa , killing at least 137 people and injuring more than 300 others.
ADEN, Yemen — A group of U.S. military forces, including Special Forces commandos, have evacuated an air base after al-Qaida seized a nearby city, Yemeni military and security officials said Saturday.
The officials said the troops were leaving the al-Annad air base near the southern city of al-Houta. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to discuss troop movements, did not say whether the troops left the country. U.S. officials declined to immediately comment Saturday.
There are about 100 American troops and Special Forces commandos believed to be at al-Annad. The base is where American and European military advisers help Yemen battle the country’s local al-Qaida branch through drone strikes and logistical support.
Al-Qaida’s local branch is considered by Washington to be the group’s most dangerous offshoot. Al-Qaida militants took al-Houta on Friday.
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U.S. Special Forces Ordered to Evacuate Yemen