- By J. Dana StusterJ. Dana Stuster is a policy analyst at the National Security Network.
Videos and images from the storming of the U.S. embassy in Yemen’s capital are circulating on social media sites. It’s not pretty. The images show an unruly mob storming through streets and over gates, bashing and burning everything they find. Only one clip shows a security guard, and it is unclear if the is gunfire is celebratory or an impotent warning to the rioters. An embassy spokesman has reported that all personnel are “safe and accounted for,” but it is clear that there will be a lot of cleaning up to do.
This video was uploaded by a YouTube account run by a youth organization that participated in the popular uprising against Ali Abdullah Saleh.
- 0:22: A man with a pickaxe tries to break through what appears to be bulletproof glass windows.
- 0:33: Torched diplomatic SUVs are seen in flames.
- 0:48: Someone crashes an SUV and protesters proceed to bash in the windows.
The Associated Press has posted video as well.
- 0:10: Rioters break down the gates of the embassy compound.
- 0:25: There is footage of rioters raising a white flag emblazoned with the shehada on embassy’s flagpole.
- 0:47: Black smoke billows from the compound from tire fires and torched cars.
- 0:54: A security guard swivels a large caliber machine gun across the crowd, then fires rounds over peoples’ heads.
Eventually, rioters broke in and looted the embassy building: