The United Nations Security Council voted Tuesday on a draft resolution that will impose an arms embargo on leaders of Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels and their key supporters, ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his son.
Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been pushed to the brink of collapse by ground fighting and Saudi-led airstrikes in support of current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia. Observers say the fighting in the strategic Mideast nation is taking on the appearance of a proxy war between Iran, the Shiite powerhouse backing the Houthis, and Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia.
The arms embargo was approved in a 14-0 vote, with Russia abstaining. Moscow had insisted on an arms embargo on all parties to the conflict.
Earlier, the Russian Mission to the U.N. had told Fox News, “we cannot comment on how our ambassador will vote,” signaling that Moscow may choose to veto the resolution. Russia had delayed a vote for weeks as it tried to force amendments to the text.
Diplomats told the Associated Press that Russia tried but failed to include humanitarian pauses in the final draft, which simply “urges all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance” and to facilitate the evacuation of foreigners.