The US has positioned special operations near Ethiopia for possible assistance from the US embassy.

The activation of some Army rangers from Battalion 1/75 suggests that the United States is increasingly concerned about the deteriorating security situation as armed groups allied against the Ethiopian government have moved south towards the capital of Addis Ababa.

In what a defense official with direct knowledge of the issues described as “prudent planning,” three warships have also been put on hold in the Middle East to provide support for evacuations if necessary, although State Department officials They have warned that there are no plans to carry out a large-scale military-led evacuation in Ethiopia.

“There are no plans to bring the US military to Ethiopia to facilitate evacuations or replicate the contingency effort we recently undertook in Afghanistan, which was a unique situation for many reasons,” a senior State Department official told reporters Monday. , emphasizing that US citizens should depart immediately using available commercial flights.

“We are of course always involved in contingency planning for what-if situations, but again, with the airports wide open, there is no reason for that,” they said.

This official stressed that US citizens who need assistance to leave Ethiopia via commercial flights should contact the US Embassy, ‚Äč‚Äčnoting that it can provide consular services now “but we cannot predict when and if conditions could change.”

In early November, the State Department ordered the removal of non-emergency US government personnel and their families from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa “due to armed conflict, civil unrest and possible supply shortages.”

The defense official with direct knowledge told CNN on Monday that three amphibious warships currently in the Middle East, the USS Essex, the USS Portland and the USS Pearl Harbor, have been on standby and could be used for possible evacuation efforts. of civilians. The official said that, at this time, the United States does not anticipate a widespread evacuation of Americans, but concern has increased that even a small number will not be able to make it to the airport and fly commercially.

The US Embassy has issued frequent alerts warning US citizens to leave, and in early November the State Department raised its travel warning for Ethiopia to Level 4: Do not travel and issued a strict guidance for those planning to travel or stay in the country, including writing a will, leaving DNA samples with a medical provider, and naming someone as a point of contact in case the individual is taken hostage.

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