- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Air Force early Tuesday flew some U.S. Embassy staff from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, because of al Qaeda threats against U.S. personnel and facilities there, the Pentagon announced.

The move was taken in response to a State Department request as “part of a reduction in emergency personnel,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said.

The “Department of Defense continues to have personnel on the ground in Yemen to support the U.S. State Department and monitor the security situation,” he said.

Warnings of potential al Qaeda activity in the Middle East and Africa have prompted the closure of dozens of Western embassies and diplomatic outposts since the weekend.

“We are concerned about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks against U.S. persons or facilities overseas, especially emanating from the Arabian Peninsula,” the State Department said Tuesday. “As such, the Department is taking appropriate steps to protect our employees, including local employees and visitors to our facilities.”

The move comes as two U.S. drone strikes killed four suspected al Qaeda members, according to tribal leaders cited by Reuters.

The tribal leaders said five missiles struck a vehicle traveling in Yemen’s Maarib Province Tuesday, killing all of its occupants.

Yemen’s State news agency Saba also said four suspected extremists were killed, but gave no further details.

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