A UN official on Friday warned of further escalation of regional tensions after U.S.-led strikes on Yemen.
The military forces of the United States and Britain, supported by four countries, reportedly conducted over 50 airstrikes and missile strikes on targets across Yemen on Thursday, following the continued Houthi targeting of vessels in the Red Sea, said Khaled Khiari, UN assistant secretary-general for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, in his remarks to the Security Council.
“We are witnessing a cycle of violence that risks grave political, security, economic and humanitarian repercussions in Yemen and the region,” he warned. “Recent humanitarian improvements in the country are fragile and could easily be reversed if there are further incidents, while progress on reaching a political settlement to end the war in Yemen could also be undermined, leaving the people of Yemen facing the impact of continued conflict.”
These developments in the Red Sea and the risk of exacerbating regional tensions are alarming. The Houthi attack using an anti-ship ballistic missile on Thursday following the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2722, which demanded an end to Houthi attacks on the Red Sea, and Thursday’s strikes on Yemen further demonstrate that the region is on a dangerous escalatory trajectory, which could potentially impact millions of people in Yemen, the region and globally, he said.
Khiari called on the Security Council to continue its efforts in actively engaging with all concerned parties to prevent further escalation from exacerbating regional tensions or undermining regional peace, security, or international trade.