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Russia concerned by UAE airstrikes on Yemen — Foreign Ministry

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry official, an immediate cessation of hostilities should be viewed as a priority

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Moscow is deeply concerned by a series of airstrikes, conducted by the Air Force of the United Arab Emirates on South Yemen, the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department, Alexei Zaytsev, has said in a statement.

"Those developments cause our serious concern," the official said. "The escalation of armed confrontation in South Yemen and its transition to a new dangerous phase are prone with negative consequences not only for that country, but for regional security in general."

"We assume that all parties to the conflict in South Yemen need to show maximum restraint in order to prevent further escalation of tensions and avert new deaths and destruction of civilian infrastructure," Zaytsev added.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry official, an immediate cessation of hostilities should be viewed as a priority.

"At the same time, the situation can be stabilized in a sustainable manner only through negotiations involving all parties concerned and aimed at reaching compromises that take into account their legitimate interests and demands," he continued. "The UN should play the central role in building a dialogue of this kind. We fully support the organization’s efforts to settle the military and political crisis in Yemen."

In Zaytsev’s opinion, violence and disintegration of Yemen "play into the hands of terrorist groups, who have solidified their positions and currently control about one third of the country."

The war between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government and Houthi rebels from the Ansar Allah movement has been raging since August 2014. The conflict entered an active phase when a Saudi-led coalition invaded the country at the request of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

On August 7, tensions started to escalate in Yemen’s port city of Aden where the country’s government had moved from the capital of Sana’a seized by Houthi rebels. Clashes between members of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and government forces killed about 40 people and left hundreds wounded. According to media reports, separatists took control of Aden on Thursday.

The Defense Ministry of the internationally recognized Yemeni government reported earlier this week that UAE warplanes conducted about 10 airstrikes in the Aden area. According to the ministry, over 300 people were killed or injured as a result.

The UAE Foreign Ministry admitted the bombings, but said they targeted groups of terrorists who attacked Saudi-led coalition forces in the airport of Aden.