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UN, US urge restraint in Yemen after drone attack

Gulf Arab Region | 2019-01-11 18:31:00
UN, US urge restraint in Yemen after drone attack
The United States and United Nations voiced alarm Friday over the escalation of violence in Yemen and urged restraint after a rebel drone attack on the country's largest airbase killed six loyalist soldiers.

The United States, which supports the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels, said it "strongly condemns" the strike on a military parade at Al-Anad air base.

The attack, which killed six and wounded at least 12 people including top commanders, came a month after the warring sides agreed at talks in Sweden on a truce in the rebel-held port of Hodeida, a key aid gateway for the country where some 14 million are on the brink of famine.

"This attack contravenes the spirit of the Hodeida cease-fire and the progress made last month at the U.N.-led talks in Sweden," U.S. State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement.

"We urge all sides to honor the commitments they made in Sweden to their fellow Yemenis by refraining from violence and provocative acts," he said.

U.N. envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said separately that he was "alarmed" by the drone attack, which came as he was hoping for further progress in negotiating an end to the war.

In tweets, he urged "all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation" and to "create a conducive environment to maintain the positive momentum generated" in Sweden.

The United Arab Emirates, a key contributor to the Arab military coalition, called on the international community to pressure the Houthi rebels and blamed them for the slow progress of peace efforts.

The "murderous drone attack tells you everything you need about the Huthis. Peace negotiations are a tactic to them, not a commitment," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted.
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