British government helps Saudi air force kill Yemeni civilians

This 25 May 2015 video is about Yemeni children killing by the Saudi royal air force.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Britain flogs Saudis £33bn of weapons

Thursday 28th July 2016

Sales come despite war crimes in Yemen

BRITAIN licensed £3.3 billion worth of weapons to warmongering and human rights abusing Saudi Arabia during the first year of it unleashing a bombing assault against Yemen, campaigners revealed yesterday.

The government allowed it to purchase arms worth £528 million in just the three months from January to March this year — the same time serious accusations of violating international law were made against Saudi Arabia.

Most of this sum was taken up by a £522m military aircraft training deal for the Saudi air force.

Licences awarded during the ongoing assualt, which has killed over 6,000 people and left 80 per cent of Yemen’s population in dire need of aid since it started in March 2015, included those for fighter jets (£2.2bn), armoured vehicles and tanks (£430,000) and guided bombs (£1.1bn).

The figures compiled by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) show that the British government licensed the deals despite clear warning by the UN that Saudi forces were violating international law.

Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP all called for licences to the country to be suspended in January after the UN accused Saudi forces of breaking the law in leading a multinational coalition against Yemen.

And the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly the following month in support of an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. Despite this, the British government continued making deals, said CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith.

“UK arms have been central to the humanitarian crisis that has been unleashed on Yemen,” Mr Smith said.

“If the new Prime Minister wants to help the people of Yemen then she needs to break with the past, stop the arms sales and end the uncritical support for the Saudi regime.”

Saudi Arabia has also been accused of using British arms against its own people by the family of a Shi’ite dissident who was shot by Saudi security forces during a raid on his home.

His family claims that the powerful shotgun shells used to kill Abdul-Rahim al-Faraj last month were made by British arms companies.

CAAT has applied for a judicial review of British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The claim calls on the government to suspend all extant licences and stop issuing further licences for weapons intended for use against Yemen.

A three-day review in light of British and EU law will take place in front of two judges by February next year.

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