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US 'alarmed' by Yemen violence, urges restraint: Pompeo

'We call on all parties to put the needs of the Yemeni people first and immediately return to restraint,' says top diplomat

Servet Gunerigok   | 28.01.2020
US 'alarmed' by Yemen violence, urges restraint: Pompeo

WASHINGTON

The U.S. is "alarmed" by violence in Yemen and calls for restraint, the nation's top diplomat said Tuesday. 

"The United States government is alarmed by renewed violence in Yemen." Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "Over the past few weeks de-escalatory efforts produced a significant reduction in fighting and showed to the Yemeni people that an end to hostilities is possible."

Pompeo's remarks came two weeks after violence between a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels resulted in hundreds of casualties. The coalition is accused of stepping up air raids on Houthi targets northeast of the capital, Sanaa.

The U.S. top diplomat called the renewed fighting "unacceptable," saying it undermines progress towards peace and produces instability that may be exploited by terrorist groups or malign actors.

"We call on all parties to put the needs of the Yemeni people first and immediately return to restraint. The Houthis must cease attacks on Saudi territory," said Pompeo.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis are believed to have been killed and injured in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

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