India Concludes Yemen Evacuations While U.S. Still Has No Plans to Help Americans

AP Photo/Press Trust of India, Mitesh Bhuvad
AP Photo/Press Trust of India, Mitesh Bhuvad

The Indian government went to great lengths to evacuate 4,640 Indian nationals and nearly 960 foreign citizens from 41 countries, including the United States, out of war-ravaged Yemen.

Among the last people to be evacuated by India was a five-day-old baby, the youngest Indian national rescued.

Meanwhile, the United States is still not planning to take action to pull endangered U.S citizens out of Yemen, prompting criticism that America, with all its military assets in the region, has abandoned U.S. citizens while countries with fewer resources are carrying out evacuation efforts.

Americans in Yemen find themselves amid airstrikes from a Saudi-led Sunni coalition launched against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their allies.

On the ground, fierce fighting continues between armed groups loyal to the internationally recognized Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels who have linked up with military units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Citing India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the New Delhi-based Asian News International (ANI), reports that “the evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen is finally over and the Indian embassy there will be shut soon.”

The U.S. government has taken a different approach.

First it closed the U.S. embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated its employees and military personnel. It then urged its citizens who want to flee Yemen to seek help from India and other sources.

In the most recent message to U.S. citizens in Yemen, the American embassy, a component of the State Department, said, “The level of instability and ongoing threats in Yemen remain extremely concerning. There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time.”

The State Department noted that when it closed the U.S. embassy in February, the public was notified of the move “and its impact on consular services, and urged U.S. citizens in Yemen to depart while commercial transportation was available.”

India was able to evacuate over 2,900 Indian nationals from Sanaa by air including 630 on Friday when it concluded its rescue efforts.

Naval vessels from India were also able to evacuate over 1,670 additional Indians from Aden, Al Hudaydah, and Al Mukalla ports in Yemen since March 31.

“Indian Naval Ship INS Sumitra evacuated 349 persons, including 46 Indians and 303 foreign nationals from Al Hudaydah port on April 9,” reports ANI.

“The entire evacuation effort has resulted in the evacuation of over 5,600 persons. These include over 4,640 Indian nationals and about 960 foreign nationals from 41 countries,” it adds.

China, India, France, Russia, Canada, and countries with fewer resources have been able to evacuate their citizens in the middle of the crisis in Yemen.

ANI notes that the five-day-old baby who was evacuated from Yemen arrived in Kochi on Friday by air.

“The new born and her parents – Raji and Sash Kumar – were rescued from Yemen’s capital Sana’a and flown to Djibouti by an Air India plane,” explains the article.

“The baby was born premature. The baby’s Bilirubin is little high. During the transportation, the baby is quite stable. We are shifting her to the Amrita hospital,” civilian doctor Dr. Uma Nambiar, who accompanied the baby on the plane ride home, told ANI.

Follow Edwin Mora on Twitter: @EdwinMora83.