In Egypt, Riot police continued firing warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside their U.S. Embassy in Cairo to prevent protestors from climbing embassy walls. Demonstrators were said to be protesting a film produced in the United States that shows Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and ruthless killer.
CNN’s Barbara Starr says, “People have been waiting for the last couple of days for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to actually come out in public” and talk about the protests in his country. In his statement, Morsy says the Egyptian security forces will control the situation and will not allow this to happen again.
The U.S. has also began taking precautions. 50 Marines were sent to the U.S. embassy in Tripoli where protests also took place. “They are there to provide internal security only. Nothing else,” says Starr. Two U.S. Navy warships equipped with tomahawk missiles were also sent toward the Libyan coast, which Starr says “will give President Obama… a military option should he choose it- to strike targets in Libya.”
Protests have been spreading across the Middle East in areas like Yemen where demonstrators breached a security wall on Thursday at the American Embassy in Sana'a. The protests come after an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other consular officials.
Following that attack, “Libyan authorities have beefed up security around the different foreign missions here in Tripoli and in Benghazi,” says Karadsheh. “Two Navy destroyers equipped with Tomahawk missiles have been moved off the coast of Libya and of course drones that will be operating in Libya to try to track down militant cells that were responsible for this attack.”
Karadsheh says originally officials thought the protesting in Libya was taking place over the online release of a film produced in the United States that denigrates Prophet Mohammed but now “that doesn’t seem to be the case.” “More and more indications are surfacing that this was actually a pre-planned attack carried out by extremist groups that are operating in the Eastern part of the country.”
CNN's Elise Labott shares the latest response from the Yemeni Embassy in Washington condemning any attacks on the U.S. facilities located in Sana'a.
The statement says, “The government in Yemen will honor its diplomatic obligations to insure safety of the U.S. personal and facilities and all responsibilities of the host government.”
“This is not Egypt or Libya,” says Labott. “This is certainly seen by the Unites States as a country that has the security situation pretty much in hand…The United States feels that the Yemenis will be able to protect them.”
In Yemen, police have been driving out protestors who breached a security wall on Thursday at the American Embassy. CNN’s Barbara Starr says “Its not miles. It’s a short walking distance” from the main gate to vital parts of the compound. Starr adds, however that “everything within that compound is fortified and has layers of security around it.”
With rapid videos of protests appearing online Starr questions the impact of social media on other possible protestors around the world. “As these pictures are seen around the world, what will be the reaction in other countries? Will it spark other protests? Will this give people who want to cause trouble that momentum to get involved in protests perhaps against U.S. installations? These things have a very…real way of growing through the social media.”
– CNN's Barbara Starr reports