Saudi Arabia Evacuates Diplomats From a Yemen City as Houthi Advance Continues
CAIRO — Saudi Arabia said Saturday that its navy had evacuated 86 Arab and Western diplomats from the port city of Aden in southern Yemen, as a Saudi-led coalition conducted a third day of airstrikes against the Iranian-backed Houthi movement.
Separately, Saudi Arabia confirmed that an American helicopter had rescued two Saudi pilots who ejected from an F-15 fighter over waters south of Yemen. The official Saudi Press Agency said the pilots had ejected because of a “technical fault” and were “in good health.”
The evacuation of the diplomats from Aden reflected the spreading chaos in Yemen as the Houthi-allied forces continued to advance, even under the pressure of the Saudi bombing. The breakdown of order has potentially grave consequences for the United States, because Yemen had been a central theater of the war with Al Qaeda, but the factional fighting has now forced the United States to withdraw its forces as well.
Aden is Yemen’s second largest city and had been the provisional headquarters of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Saudi-backed Yemeni leader, since the Houthi forces overran the capital, Sana, in January. Mr. Hadi fled last month to Aden to make a last stand among his supporters in the south, but he, too, has now left Yemen, attending a meeting of Arab leaders on Saturday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.
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