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    Soldiers and Houthi fighters inspect the damage caused by air strikes on the airport of Yemen's northwestern city of Saada, a Houthi stronghold near the Saudi border, March 30, 2015

    Houthi Leaders Welcome Russia’s ‘Positive Role’ in Solving Yemen Crisis

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    Russia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council last week, calling for a "humanitarian pause" in the Yemeni conflict.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The leadership of Yemen's Ansar Allah party, better known as the Houthis, has welcomed Russia's stance on the Yemeni crisis after Moscow described the Saudi-led military operation there as illegal, a leader of the movement told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "Russia has a positive role. It is always on the people's side. We wish it could take more action – a bigger role to play – and that it could give a strong response to this oppressive aggression against the oppressed people of Yemen," Ahmed Shami of Ansar Allah, said.

    A Saudi-led coalition of Gulf Arab countries has been pounding Houthi positions for almost two weeks now, after Yemen's displaced President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested their intervention. The coalition has not sought authorization from the UN Security Council for the military campaign.

    Speaking with Rossiya Segodnya news agency's general director, Dmitry Kiselev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that the Saudi-led operation had no "international legal foundation."

    Clashes between Hadi's loyalists and Houthi insurgents, and most recently airstrikes by the 10-nation Arab coalition have killed more than 500 people in past weeks, according to UN estimates.

    The rising death toll prompted Oman, the only Arab Gulf country not to participate in the air raids, to offer the United Nations its help in mediating talks between the warring parties.

    Ahmed Shami told Sputnik Oman's attitude was "well-praised" among Yemeni people, and Ansar Allah was ready to go to Muscat to sit down at the negotiating table "as long as they comply with the people of Yemen."

    Shami added, they would welcome any UN resolution on the Yemeni peace if it, too, would be endorsed by Yemenis.

    Last week, Russia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a "humanitarian pause" in the Yemeni conflict. The Council's president for this month said the 15-member body will now need time to consider it.


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