Conflicts & War

Saudi Arabia calls for ‘moderation’ after US, UK Yemen bombings

Riyadh, Jan 12 (EFE).- Saudi Arabia, one of the United States’ main Middle East allies, called Friday for “moderation” after the American bombings in Yemen in response to rebel Houthi attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said it is following the military operations in the Red Sea region and the airstrikes in Yemen with “great concern.”

It spoke of the importance of preserving security and stability in the region, adding that “freedom of navigation in it is an international demand,” and condemning Houthi actions against merchant ships.

The kingdom called for moderation amid events in the region in possible reference to the war in the Gaza Strip.

China and Iran also expressed concerns over escalating tensions in the Red Sea.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, urged all parties to remain calm and show restraint to avoid additional conflicts.

“The Red Sea is an important international trade route for goods and energy,” Mao was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

She hoped that all parties would play a constructive and responsible role in safeguarding security and stability in the region, Xinhua reported.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said the attacks were fueling instability in the region.

He called the bombings an “arbitrary” action that violates Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

These military attacks are in line with the US and UK’s support for “the last hundred days of the Zionist regime’s war crimes against the Palestinian nation,” the minister said.

The US said Thursday it carried out a joint military action with the United Kingdom and the support of several countries against Houthi rebels in Yemen, following an increase in attacks against boats in the Red Sea.

The US, UK and eight other countries said the military action demonstrates their joint commitment to freedom of navigation.

In a joint statement, the 10 signatories (US, UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and South Korea) said their objective remains “to reduce tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea.”

US President Joe Biden said American military forces successfully carried out the attacks under his direction against targets in Yemen used by the rebels.

It comes in response to attacks by Houthi rebels, who launched a ballistic missile Thursday to strike shipping routes of the Gulf of Aden, a strategic passage for oil transportation in the Persian Gulf.

“These attacks have endangered US personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” the US president said.

The latest Houthi attack occurred at about 2am Sanaa time (03:00 GMT) on Thursday, the US Central Command reported in a statement.

Though it did not damage ships, it increased the concern of countries using this trade route.

The president said this was the 27th attack launched by Houthis against commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

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