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Russia condemns US, UK for 'irresponsible' strikes on Yemen

January 12, 2024 at 11:38 am

Spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, in Moscow, Russia on November 27, 2020 [RUS Foreign Affairs Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Russia today condemned the United States and Britain for their military strikes on Yemen, which Moscow said amounted to an irresponsible adventure that risked sowing chaos across the entire Middle East, Reuters reported.

The United States and Britain launched strikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen in response to the movement’s attacks on Israel-bound ships in the Red Sea since the start of Israel’s genocidal bombing campaign in Gaza.

Russia called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council today to discuss the issue.

“We strongly condemn these irresponsible actions by the United States and its allies,” Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, told reporters.

“A large-scale military escalation in the Red Sea region could strike out the positive trends that have emerged recently in the Yemeni settlement process, as well as provoke a destabilisation of the situation throughout the Middle East.”

Russia said the attack on Yemen took place without any mandate from the United Nations and was thus an illegal “adventure” by the United States and its allies.

Russia and China abstained on Wednesday from a UN Security Council resolution that demanded the Houthis immediately cease their attacks on shipping and noted the right of UN member states “to defend their vessels from attack, including those that undermine navigational rights and freedoms”.

“You know that a [UN] resolution was adopted, we abstained, and the countries that carried out the strike attempted to provide an international legal basis for their actions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“This attempt was unsuccessful, because the adopted resolution does not provide any right to carry out strikes, and, accordingly, from the point of view of international law, they are illegitimate.”

Russia said it shared the concerns of Saudi Arabia and others in the region over the strikes. Riyadh called for restraint and “avoiding escalation” after the strikes and said it was monitoring the situation with great concern.

“We share the concerns expressed by our regional partners, in particular from Saudi Arabia,” Zakharova said.

Iran has also condemned the US-led strikes as illegal and escalatory.

The US said Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands supported the operation

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthis said there was no justification for the US-British attack and said the group will continue targeting ships heading towards Israel.

READ: Houthis: Any US strike on Yemen will be met with decisive response