Russia Strongly Condemns Saudi-led Offensive in Yemen

Russia expressed “deep concern” over the worsening situation in Yemen, a day after ten Arab nations, led by Saud Arabia, mounted an offensive against Houthi rebels.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the Yemen crisis could be solved only through national dialogue.

The ministry called on all parties in Yemen to stop military activity.

Several Arab states, all of them allies of Washington, have joined a Saudi-led military offensive against Yemen’s Houthi group, launched late Wednesday.

In a joint statement issued earlier Thursday, five Gulf States -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait -- said the operation had come "in response to a request by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen from the aggression of Houthi militias."

Fractious Yemen has descended into violence since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

Some Gulf countries suspect that the Houthi insurgency is supported by mainly-Shia Iran.

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