Russia has warned against an imminent military attack by Saudi Arabia against the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah, emphasizing that the offensive would exacerbate the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
The “plans to storm Yemen’s biggest port of Hudaydah give rise to serious concerns,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement published on the ministry’s official website on Monday.
She added that battles in the area “would not only inevitably lead to a mass exodus of the [local] population but would also de facto cut the [Yemeni] capital of Sana’a from… food and humanitarian aid supplies.”
Zakharova described the humanitarian situation in Yemen as “catastrophic.” She also condemned a March 10 Saudi-led airstrike on a marketplace in the al-Khawkhah district of Hudaydah.
Twenty six people, including 20 civilians and six Houthi fighters, were killed in the raid, according to AFP.
Hudaydah is currently under the control of Houthi Ansarullah fighters who have been defending Yemen against the Saudi military offensive aimed at restoring power to resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
10 civilians injured in Saudi cluster bomb attack
Meanwhile, nearly a dozen civilians sustained injuries when Saudi fighter jets carried out an aerial attack against a residential area in northern Yemen using internationally-banned cluster bombs.
People carry a girl to a hospital after she was recovered from the site of a Saudi airstrike in the northwestern city of Sa’ada, Yemen, March 13, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said ten people were injured when Saudi military aircraft struck the northwestern city of Sa’ada, located 240 kilometers north of the capital Sana’a, on Monday evening, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
Yemeni snipers shoot dead two more Saudi troopers
Additionally, Yemeni forces have shot dead two Saudi troops in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan in response to the Saudi war on their homeland.
Yemeni forces shot and killed a Saudi troop in the Dafineh Village of Jizan, located 967 kilometers southwest of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Monday afternoon, al-Masirah television network reported.
Earlier, Yemeni forces had targeted and killed a Saudi soldier northeast of Qafir area in the same Saudi region.
According to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, the Saudi military campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.
McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a earlier this year that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.
Local Yemeni sources have already put the death toll from the Saudi war at over 12,000, including many women and children.