Saudi Arabia has asked Russia to intervene and help prevent the strategic city of Marib from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthis, the Al-Akhbar newspaper reported.
The paper quoted sources as saying that the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal Bin Farhan, spoke on the phone with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and asked him to mediate between the kingdom and the Houthis to stop the group from advancing towards Marib.
The sources explained that the Saudi move aimed to exert pressure on the United States, which has been ignoring Saudi appeals to prevent the Houthis from taking over Marib as President Donald Trump is preoccupied with the presidential elections scheduled for November.
Trump has previously used Russia’s involvement in the Middle East as a justification for the continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has been repeatedly accused of war crimes by human rights bodies. The US president has said if Washington doesn’t provide the weapons the kingdom will look to Russia and China to obtain them and Americans would not benefit as a result.