Russia calls an emergency UN council over Yemen crisis

Russians want to discuss mandatory 'humanitarian pauses' in the Saudi-coalition led air strikes

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The Independent Online

Russia has called an emergency UN Security Council sessions to try and reach a resolution that will lead to Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen pausing for humanitarian reasons.

Russia have said that it is necessary for the international community to convene in order to discuss the establishment of obligatory and regular ‘humanitarian pauses’ in the coalition air strikes on Yemen.

Alexey Zaytsev, spokesman for the mission, told RIA Novosti: “Russia convenes UN security Council consultations to discuss the establishment of a regular and mandatory ‘humanitarian pause’ amid ongoing coalition airstrikes on Yemen.”

The meeting is scheduled to take place this morning at 11AM in New York (15:00 GMT.)

A Yemeni boy inspects his family's house, which was destroyed by an airstrike allegedly carried out by a Saudi-led coalition against a Houthi rebels in Sanaía, Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition, which comprises Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Jordan, has been engaging Houthi militias in aerial strikes for more than a week now.

This follows Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi being forced to flee the country and plead for international intervention to reinstate his rule.

Moscow is calling for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict and has emphasised that foreign military intervention would only serve to cause more civilian deaths.

On Friday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met newly appointed Saudi Ambassador to Russia, Abdulrahman al-Rassi and, according to a statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, he “insisted on the need to stop military actions and settle the internal conflict in Yemen exclusively by peaceful means and through a broad national dialogue.”

Russia has already moved to evacuate all of its personnel from its Yemeni consulate, which has been damaged in the conflict, and has taken an active role in evacuating Russian nationals and other civilians from the country.

The country proposed amendments to a UN Security Council draft resolution on Yemen on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that this has been sent to the United Nations Security Council and said that the body “should speak in a principled manner for ending any violence in the Yemeni crisis.”

Meanwhile in the conflict Houthi militia have reportedly left the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden following coalition air strikes, having occupied it a day earlier.

The air strike also apparently destroyed Houthi military equipment and missiles on Myun Island on the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

At the same time coalition planes airdropped weapons to supporters of President Hadi in Aden, said Coalition spokesman General Ahmed Assiri.

“We should not be in a rush,” he said as the campaign entered into its ninth day.

 “The campaign is achieving its goals, and you can see that every day.”

Saudi Arabia claimed that there were no troops on the ground in Yemen however, Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel al-Jubeir, speaking at an event in Washington, said: “the issue of using ground troops is always something that is on the table.”

The UN estimates that more than 500 people, largely civilians, have been killed in Yemen over the past two weeks.

Though the coalition air strikes target mostly military facilities, weapon depots and infrastructure, strikes have caused civilian casualties.

Tens of thousands have fled the country since the outbreak of the violence.