The amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima (LHD- 7) is standing by in the event it would need to assist in the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel from Yemen, a Navy spokesperson told USNI News on Tuesday.
According to a report from news wire Reuters, the U.S. is closing its embassy in the capital Sanaa.
The ambassador and staff are planning to leave the country on Wednesday, according to an unnamed staffer quoted by Al Jazeera on Tuesday.
In January, Houti rebels stormed the capital in Sanaa and deposed Yemeni president
Iwo Jima has been stationed in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen in case it’s needed to evacuate U.S. non-combatants from the country.
The ship is embarked with elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU) to assist if needed.
The two other ships in the Iwo Jima amphibious ready group (ARG) – USS Fort McHenry (LSD- 43) and USS New York (LPD-21) are not on station and are operating in other parts of U.S. Central Command, the spokesman told USNI News.
Yemen has been a key U.S. ally in hunting members of the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.