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Josh Rogin

Americans Trapped in Yemen? U.S. Says 'Good Luck'

Saudi bombing has halted. Will the State Department finally rescue its citizens?
They want out.

They want out.

Photographer: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

The announced end of Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen may provide a window for thousands of U.S. citizens to leave the war-torn nation. Yet the State Department shows no sign it will begin rescuing the thousands of Yemeni-Americans there, drawing ire from the Arab-American community.

For weeks, the Obama administration has maintained that using U.S. government resources to evacuate its citizens in the middle of the Yemeni crisis would be too dangerous for the U.S. personnel sent to help  as well as for the citizens themselves. Without any embassy or military presence inside Yemen, U.S. assistance for the thousands of Americans seeking to leave has amounted to giving them sporadic information, wishing them good luck, and dealing with them if and when they reach another shore, usually Djibouti in Africa.