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Russia condemns US for 'irresponsible' strikes on Yemen

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Russia condemned the United States and Britain on Friday for military strikes on Yemen, which Moscow said amounted to an irresponsible adventure that risked sowing chaos across the entire Middle East.

Maria Zakharova © Mena Today 

Russia condemned the United States and Britain on Friday for military strikes on Yemen, which Moscow said amounted to an irresponsible adventure that risked sowing chaos across the entire Middle East.

The United States and Britain launched strikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen in response to the Iran-backed movement's attacks on ships in the Red Sea, a dramatic regional widening of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

But Russia, an ally of Iran and a partner of key Arab powers, called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday to discuss the issue.

"We strongly condemn these irresponsible actions by the United States and its allies," Maria Zakharova, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman, told reporters.

"A large-scale military escalation in the Red Sea region could strike out the positive trends that have emerged recently in the Yemeni settlement process, as well as provoke a destabilisation of the situation throughout the Middle East."

Russia, which has been criticised for what the West says is an illegal war in Ukraine, said the attack on Yemen took place without any mandate from the United Nations and was thus an illegal "adventure" by the United States and its allies.

Russia said it shared the concerns of Saudi Arabia and others in the region over the strikes. Riyadh called for restraint and "avoiding escalation" after the strikes and said it was monitoring the situation with great concern.

"We share the concerns expressed by our regional partners, in particular from Saudi Arabia," Zakharova said.

Iran has also condemned the U.S.-led strikes as illegal and escalatory.

The U.S. said Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands supported the operation, and sought to present the strikes as part of an international effort to restore the free flow of trade in a key route between Europe and Asia that accounts for about 15% of the world's shipping traffic.

A spokesman for Yemen's Houthis said there was no justification for the U.S.-British attack and said the group will continue targeting ships heading towards Israel.

Reporting Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow and Filipp Lebedev in Tbilisi

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