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Saudi Arabia consulted US before launching military operation in Yemen — ambassador

March 27, 2015, 10:39 UTC+3 NEW YORK
Riyadh had been discussing the issue with the US for several months
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Houthi militia members inspecting houses destroyed by a Saudi air strike, in Sanaa, Yemen

Houthi militia members inspecting houses destroyed by a Saudi air strike, in Sanaa, Yemen

© EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

NEW YORK, March 27. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia launched an operation in Yemen after lengthy consultations with the US and is coordinating its actions with Washington, Saudi Arabia Ambassador to US Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on Friday.

Riyadh had been discussing the issue with the US for several months, but the final decision was taken at the last minute, when the situation in Yemen sharply deteriorated, the ambassador said. In other words, the US was notified in advance about the planned operation in the Persian Gulf country, he added. Close coordination and consultations were held with the White House, al-Jubeir said.

Riyadh appreciates Washington’s political, logistical and intelligence support, the ambassador noted. Other members of the coalition also hold consultations with the US, he added.

Moscow concerned with developments in Yemen

Moscow is concerned with the latest developments in Yemen amid deteriorating military and security situation in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Units of the Ansar Allah movement launched an offensive on the second most important city in the country, Aden. In response, Saudi Arabia aviation delivered strikes at several positions on the territory of Yemen, including in the capital of Sanaa, overnight to March 26," the foreign ministry said. "Riyadh, supported by Arab states of the Persian Gulf [except Oman], several other countries and with logistical aid from US, is acting in accordance with the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi," the statement added.

"According to preliminary information, there are victims among civilians and among militants from the Ansar Allah movement," the foreign ministry said. "Russian Embassy in Sanaa and General Consulate in Aden continue their work after strengthening security. No Russian citizens permanently residing in Yemen were injured in the night strikes, according to our diplomatic agencies," the statement said.

"Moscow expresses its gravest concern with the latest developments in the friendly Yemen Republic. Russia has always consistently supported the country’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity," the foreign ministry said. "Along with that, we consider it especially important that all sides in the Yemen conflict and their foreign allies immediately stop all military actions and attempts to reach their goals with weapons," the ministry stressed. "We are convinced that deep disagreements existing in Yemen now can only be solved by nationwide dialogue," it added.

"In its turn, Russia, in its contacts with all parties involved in the Yemen developments, continues to build up, including on the UN platform, efforts on soonest resolution of the military conflict in Yemen," the foreign ministry said.

Crisis in Yemen

Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) forced the president and the government to announce resignation.

The rebels later took control of the country’s capital and several northern provinces. They also announced the adoption of the so-called constitutional declaration.

Overnight to March 26, Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in the neighboring country and delivered air strikes at several Houthi positions.

Pro-government forces regained control of the Aden airport early on Thursday, while Yemeni President Abd Rabbah Mansur Hadi fled the country to Saudi Arabia.

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