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Russia requests the UN Security Council to convene an urgent meeting over US and UK airstrikes in Yemen

Russia's decision comes after US military forces, along with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, carried out strikes against a number of targets used by Houthi rebels in Yemen in the early hours of January 12.

Russia has requested the United Nations Security Council to convene on January 12 in connection with strikes carried out by the United States and the United Kingdom in Yemen, the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN said on its Telegram channel, Russia-based agency TASS reported.

In a statement, Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN said, “Russia has requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting on January 12 in connection with US and UK strikes on Yemen.” In a statement to TASS, the mission said the meeting was scheduled for 10 am (local time) (3 pm GMT)

Russia’s decision comes after US military forces, along with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, carried out strikes against a number of targets used by Houthi rebels in Yemen in the early hours of January 12.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that the Royal Air Force has conducted targeted strikes against military facilities used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, calling it “limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence.”

Rishi Sunak said the UK will always stand up for “freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade.” He stated that the Houthis, despite the repeated warnings from the international community, continue to conduct attacks in the Red Sea, including against UK and US warships just this week.

In a statement, Rishi Sunak said, “Despite the repeated warnings from the international community, the Houthis have continued to carry out attacks in the Red Sea, including against UK and US warships just this week.”

“This cannot stand. The United Kingdom will always stand up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade. We have therefore taken limited, necessary and proportionate action in self-defence, alongside the United States with non-operational support from the Netherlands, Canada and Bahrain against targets tied to these attacks, to degrade Houthi military capabilities and protect global shipping,” he added.

Rishi Sunak stated that the Royal Navy continues to patrol the Red Sea as part of the multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian to deter further Houthi aggression. He urges the Houthis to cease their attacks and take steps to de-escalate.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said that the targeted strikes were a clear message that the escalation of attacks by the Houthi rebels against commercial vessels would not be tolerated.

“Today, at my direction, US military forces–together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands–successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” the US President said in a statement.

In his statement, Biden said these strikes were in direct response to “Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.”

He noted that these attacks have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised trade, and threatened freedom of navigation.

Biden said, “Today’s defensive action follows this extensive diplomatic campaign and Houthi rebels’ escalating attacks against commercial vessels.”

“These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes. I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary,” he added.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate end to attacks on ships in the Red Sea. As many as 11 UNSC members voted for the document. Meanwhile, four nations – Russia, China, Algeria and Mozambique abstained from voting.

Before this, the UNSC rejected three Russian proposals to modify the text of the draft resolution, including the one that mentioned the conflict between Palestine and Israel as the reason behind the recent escalation in the Red Sea, according to TASS report.

The Houthi rebels started the strikes in retaliation for Israel’s conflict with Gaza. After the war between Israel and Hamas started, the Houthis claimed that they would launch strikes on Israeli territory and would not allow ships associated with it to pass through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until the operation in the Palestinian enclave stopped, TASS reported.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said more than 20 commercial carriers and ships have been attacked in these waters since mid-November, TASS reported. In response, the US government announced it was launching Operation Prosperity Guardian to ensure the safety of navigation and protect ships in the Red Sea. 


(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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