Yemen’s embattled president fled his palace in the port city of Aden Wednesday, escaping as Houthi rebels moved in.
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Those Houthi rebels announced they’ve now seized an airbase where U.S. troops and European advisers had once engaged in battle against al Qaeda forces based in Yemen.
That airbase is just 35 miles from what had been the last temporary headquarters of Yemen’s president.
U.S. forces evacuated the base several days ago after al Qaeda fighters briefly seized a nearby city. Then the Houthi rebels swept in Wednesday to overtake the airbase.
While the Sunni al Qaeda forces and Shiite Houthi forces are at odds, they’ve both contributed to the violent upheaval throughout Yemen.
The airbase that the Houthis have now overtaken was crucial in the U.S. drone campaign targeting al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula. U.S. officials say CIA drone strikes will continue in the country, but there will be fewer of them.
America considers al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen to be the most dangerous element of the terror group.
Al Qaeda terrorists hold territory in eastern Yemen and have claimed they directed the recent attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
The CIA’s ability to collect intelligence on the ground in Yemen has now been greatly diminished by the degenerating situation.
SOURCE: CBN News