Russia Warns Against Saudi Attack On Yemeni City

The Kremlin has warned about “grave humanitarian consequences” that would occur if Saudi Arabia goes ahead with a planned military attack on the western port city of Hudaydah in Yemen.

The city is currently held by Houthi rebels and is needed to receive humanitarian aid into the country.

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told reporters that during a UN Security Council meeting, requested by Russia, the attendants discussed the grave humanitarian situation in Yemen and efforts toward a peaceful conclusion of the war imposed by the Saudi regime on the Yemeni people.

Press TV reports:

Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted the Russian official as saying the meeting had been held in an attempt “to urge the UN to step up its efforts to establish a real diplomatic process.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Safronkov said all the 15 member states of the council supported a non-military approach to the resolution of the crisis. It is, the Kremlin believes, “necessary to search for a political settlement,” Safronkov added.

Hudaydah is currently under the control of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters, who have been defending the impoverished country against the Saudi aggression since March 2015. The city, Yemen’s fourth largest and its biggest port, served as a thoroughfare for the transit of about 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports in the pre-war years.

When the Saudi regime started pounding the crisis-hit country, Hudaydah turned into a primary entry point for humanitarian aid and fuel meant for areas inside Yemen, including the capital, Sana’a. If the city falls under the control of Saudi forces and mercenary soldiers, the flow of humanitarian assistance toward those areas would be blocked.

On March 13, Moscow also warned about the critical situation of the port city in providing its people with much-needed humanitarian aid.

The “plans to storm Yemen’s biggest port of Hudaydah give rise to serious concerns,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, adding that the fall of the city would cut Sana’a from “food and humanitarian aid supplies.” She also said the humanitarian situation in Yemen was “catastrophic.”

On Wednesday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said 60 percent of Yemenis, some 17 million people, faced a “crisis” and were in urgent need of food as a direct result of the Saudi war.