UK Agrees to Sell Saudi Arabia Arms Worth $14.7 Million

Published May 18th, 2019 - 06:30 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Highlights
The British government approved arms sales worth at least £11.5 million ($14.7m) to Saudi Arabia.

The British government approved arms sales worth at least £11.5 million ($14.7m) to Saudi Arabia in the three months that followed the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The New Arab has learnt.


According to statistics obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) a £9.1 million export licence was approved on October 5 for "military patrol/assault craft" just three days following the violent murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

CAAT, which has kept records of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia since 2008, said that while at the time of that particular sale Khashoggi's murder was still undetermined, the UK did not suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in light of his sudden disappearance.

The British government continued to approve licenses for electronic warfare equipment, military helmets and anti-armour ammunition to Saudi Arabia, amounting to a total of £11.5 million worth of military licences approved in the three months after Khashoggi's murder.

CAAT said the true figure is likely to be higher, as hundreds of millions of pounds worth of British-made missiles and bombs were also sold to Riyadh under an open license that makes tracking arms sales more difficult.


"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a brutal crime that was condemned all over the world, yet the arms companies have continued with business as usual," Andrew Smith, media coordinator at CAAT said.

"The killing is not an isolated event, UK arms have played a devastating role in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen. Thousands of people have been killed, but arms dealers have profited every step of the way," Smith said.

"The arms sales have been supported every step of the way by the UK Government, which has been totally complicit in the regime's atrocities," he added. 

"Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and their colleagues might talk about the importance of human rights, but they have continued to offer an uncritical political and military support to the Saudi regime."

Since the war on Yemen began in March 2015, the UK issued £4.7 billion worth of military licences, including fighter jets, missiles and bombs.

Described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations, the war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi and UAE backed government has left millions on the brink of famine.

At least 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Yemen war began, although rights groups say the death toll is much higher.

British and American-made bombs may have killed or injured more than 1,000 Yemeni civilians, including women and children.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

You may also like