Are thermite grenades no longer used to destroy and/or disable vehicles and equipment?
The United States, Britain and France moved to close their embassies in Yemen on Wednesday, increasing the isolation of Shiite rebels who have seized power. In a show of bravado against the Americans, the rebels seized the cars of U.S. diplomats left at the airport on the way out.
At the same time, the rebels – known as the Houthis – attacked demonstrators holding protests against their power grab in various parts of the capital, Sanaa, witnesses said. The fighters beat protesters and stabbed them with knives, arrested more than a dozen.
The increasing turmoil comes almost four years to the day since the start of Yemen’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ousted the longtime autocratic ruler but then opened a political transition that crumbled between the country’s grinding forces of tribal politics, sectarian divisions, al-Qaida militancy and succession movements.[…]
On Tuesday, the State Department announced it suspended operations at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa and relocated remaining diplomatic personnel “due to the ongoing political instability and the uncertain security situation.” The embassy had been operating with only a skeleton staff for some weeks amid deteriorating conditions.
More than 25 vehicles abandoned by departing American embassy staffers at Sanaa airport were seized by the rebels, according to airport officials. The rebels also took weapons that were left in the vehicles, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The embassy’s Marine detachment, which escorted the cars, left their personal sidearms behind since they would be unable to take them on the commercial flights they were leaving on, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters in Washington. They destroyed their heavier weapons – automatic weapons and machine guns – before leaving the embassy, he said.