A large number of US diplomats and their families started withdrawing from Saudi Arabia last weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The WSJ says that more are expected to fly out in the coming weeks citing officials familiar with the plan. The report says that US State Department approved the voluntary departure of “non-emergency personnel”. The large-scale withdrawal of the US diplomatic staff reportedly started in response to the recent growth of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom after it opted to start reopening its economy.
The WSJ blames the increase of coronavirus cases coincided with the kingdom’s move to lift restrictions in a bid to revive its economy, which has suffered from low oil prices, explaining the withdrawal.
However, Al Masirah, the official TV station of Yemen’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) provided a quite different version of the events. According to the Houthi media wing, the expected ‘surprises’ from Yemen and the successes of the movement in striking vital military infrastructure inside Saudi Aarabia are among the main reasons of the withdrawal.
Indeed, recently the military conrontation between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis in Yemen intensified. The Houthis have made several important advances in the provinces of Marib and Bayda, as well as conducted another joint missile and drone strike on military targets near the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
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