US removes remaining personnel from Yemen

The U.S. has removed all remaining personnel from Yemen as Shiite rebels controlling the country’s capital called for others to join its battle against government forces.

The State Department said in a statement it is removing personnel due to the “deteriorating security situation” in the country. The State Department also said it will continue to engage the Yemeni people and international community to support the country’s political transition.

Earlier Saturday, Yemeni security and military officials said that U.S. troops and Special Forces commandos were evacuating from an air base in southern Yemen. The air base was believed to have at least 100 American troops stationed there.

The U.N. Security Council has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Yemen as well. The closed-door meeting is expected to take place Sunday.

The turmoil comes as Yemen battles al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the target of the drone program, and faces a purported affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group that claimed responsibility for a series of suicide bombings killing at least 137 people Friday.

The State Department encouraged all Yemeni factions to engage in the U.N.-led political discussion to achieve a power-sharing solution, it said in the statement.

The U.S hopes to make progress in unifying the embattled country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report