Russia urges UN mandated pause in Yemen air strikes

April 5, 2015 7:58 am
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Yemenis gather near the rubble of houses near Sanaa Airport on March 31, 2015 which were destroyed by an air strike as Saudi-led coalition warplanes hit Shiite Huthi militia targets across Yemen overnight/AFP
Yemenis gather near the rubble of houses near Sanaa Airport on March 31, 2015 which were destroyed by an air strike as Saudi-led coalition warplanes hit Shiite Huthi militia targets across Yemen overnight/AFP

, UNITED NATIONS, April 5- Russia called on the UN Security Council to push for a pause in the air war in Yemen, as a Saudi led coalition pounded rebels in the country for a 10th day.

Yemen’s main southern city, a last foothold of supporters of self exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, has been shaken by more than a week of clashes between Shiite Huthi rebels and loyalist militia.

Coalition warplanes and ships bombarded rebel positions in Aden on the 10th night of Operation Decisive Storm.

A military source said at least 13 rebel fighters were killed.

For a second night, the coalition airdropped weapons and ammunition to supporters of Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia last month as the Iran backed Huthis approached Aden.

“We thank the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf countries, as well as our brothers in Arab countries, for dropping supplies,” said Ahmad Qassem al Shaawi, a local militia chief.

“God willing, we will be victorious and bravely carry on fighting as heroes, and fight off any attack.”

 

– Russia pushes UN resolution –

 

Russia, meanwhile, presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a humanitarian pause in the air campaign to allow for the evacuation of foreigners, diplomats said.

The measure would demand “regular and obligatory humanitarian pauses in the air strikes to allow all concerned states and international organisations to evacuate their citizens and personnel from Yemen,” the draft text said.

Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told reporters the pause would ensure that “when we evacuate people, to make sure it’s secure and safe.”

Aided by the strikes and arms drops, Hadi loyalists have managed to drive the rebels back from some parts of central Aden.

At least 185 dead and 1,282 wounded have been counted in hospitals in Aden since March 26, the city’s health department director Al Kheder Lassouar said.

The toll does not include casualties among the rebels and their allies, who do not take their people to public hospitals, or victims of air raids, he said.

The coalition says it has no plans for now to deploy ground forces in Yemen.

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