The United States reduced further its diplomatic profile in the Middle East country of Yemen amidst the political upheaval and violence there, said the U.S. State Department on Monday.
The embassy located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, is still open, but the routine consular services have been closed, said a spokesperson for the State Department. Emergency services are still being provided to citizens of the United States, added the spokesperson.
Diplomatic families as well as other personnel who are nonessential have left Yemen over a period of several months.
Additional moves as a form of tightening security at the U.S. embassy came as a drone strike was carried out by the CIA against the affiliate of al-Qaeda in Yemen. It was the first airstrike by the U.S. in Yemen in over a month.
The drone attack killed three alleged militants in Marib, an eastern province.
The U.S. military and CIA’s Joint Special Operations Command has continued deploying armed drones over Yemen despite turmoil across the capital after the toppling last week of the government by the Houthi rebel group.
White House officials on Friday said that military teams from the U.S. suspended training of Yemeni counterparts and shut down operations in the country’s capital of Sanaa.
However, they continue to work with counterterrorism units from Yemen in other areas of the country.
The Houthis, whose home is in northern Yemen, are Shiite. They are alleged to be backed by Iran and long opposed a series of governments led by Sunnis in Yemen.
The U.S. counterterrorism assistance in Yemen has focused on elements of al-Qaeda, which are the Sunni, and officials from the U.S. have often said they would not be involved in what they describe as an internal battle in the government with Houthis.
While last week a vehicle from the U.S. Embassy was reportedly fired upon in the capital of Sanaa, the Obama administration does not believe Americans are targets of the ongoing political turmoil in the capital.