In an interview with TASS, Yevgeny Kudrov, Russia’s charge d’affaires in Yemen, expressed deep concern over the expanding scale of strikes by the United States and Britain on Yemeni territory. Kudrov emphasized that the current military actions, ostensibly targeting Houthi military facilities, risk exacerbating the suffering of Yemeni civilians and may have detrimental consequences for the country’s fragile economic recovery.
“While the U.S. and British strikes are currently focused on military installations of the Houthi movement Ansar Allah, the risk of civilian casualties looms large,” Kudrov stated. He underscored that such measures were unlikely to alter Houthi attitudes, especially given the growing popular support for Ansar Allah, evident in the recent weeks of mass demonstrations in the capital, Sanaa, and other Yemeni cities.
Concerns are mounting that the United States and Britain may decide to intensify their strikes, a possibility hinted at by statements from the White House. Kudrov warned that in such an event, Yemeni civilians, their homes, and property would bear the brunt of the impact. “The general economic situation in Yemen, which had shown signs of improvement over the past 18 months under the truce, would inevitably deteriorate again,” he cautioned.
The Russian diplomat highlighted the precarious state of Yemen, characterized by an acute military and political crisis. The United Nations has consistently labelled the humanitarian situation in Yemen as one of the worst globally. Kudrov stressed the urgent need to address the dire conditions faced by the civilian population, emphasizing the importance of increasing the supply of food, medicine, and essential goods rather than resorting to airstrikes that further damage the already fragile infrastructure, battered by years of hostilities.
The backdrop to this rising tension is the January 12 joint military operation by the U.S. and British armed forces, marking the first instance of striking Ansar Allah facilities in various Yemeni cities, including the capital, Sanaa, and Hodeidah. The targets included Houthi missile and drone sites, as well as radar stations. Subsequently, the U.S. initiated regular strikes on Houthi missile facilities within Yemen.
International observers fear that the unfolding situation in Yemen may escalate into a larger conflict, with severe implications for the civilian population. The diplomatic plea from Russia underscores the need for a shift in strategy, prioritizing humanitarian aid and dialogue over military actions that risk deepening the crisis and compromising the fragile gains made in the country’s economic recovery over the past 18 months.