UK Arms Sales to Saudi Increased by 500% Since Beginning of Yemen War, Reports Claim

Published November 8th, 2017 - 09:00 GMT
Recently, Saudi Arabia sealed off Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders (AFP/File)
Recently, Saudi Arabia sealed off Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders (AFP/File)

 

  • Britain's sale of arms and missiles to Saudi Arabia increased by almost 500 percent since the start of the Yemen war
  • The U.K. had approved $43 million worth of licenses for the sale of bombs, missiles, and countermeasures to Riyadh in the two years leading up to the war
  • U.K. licensing for aircraft has soared by 70 percent in the same period
  • The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis

 

Britain’s export of bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia has increased by nearly 500 percent since the start of the Yemen war, says a U.K.-based organization working to end the international arms trade.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) said that in the two years leading up to the war on Yemen, the U.K. government had approved £33 million ($43 million) worth of licenses covering the sale of bombs, missiles, and countermeasures to Riyadh, The Independent reported on Tuesday.

Since March 2015, the figure rose to £1.9 billion ($2.49 billion), up by 457 percent, the CAAT added.

It also found that the U.K. government licenses covering aircraft, including Eurofighter jets, have soared by 70 percent to £2.6 billion in the same period.

Tom Barns, CAAT co-director, said London had been accelerating sales of “equipment being used to commit atrocities in Yemen” as Saudi air raids increase on the nation.

 

 

“Over the course of this year the situation in Yemen is only getting worse,” he warned. “At a time when the U.K. should at least be putting more consideration into what’s being sold they are giving more and more of these licenses.”

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million Yemenis in need of food. A cholera crisis has caused over 2,000 deaths.

Recently, Saudi Arabia sealed off Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders, after Houthi fighters targeted an international airport near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have expressed concern over the blockade which has prevented aid deliveries from reaching Yemen.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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