UK sold £3bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since start of Yemen war
The British government has supplied Saudi Arabia with weapons and military hardware worth of almost three billion pounds since Riyadh waged a deadly war against the impoverished Yemen more than a year ago.
According to the latest figures released by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) NGO on Tuesday, the UK government has approved 122 military licenses, worth £2.8 billion, for Riyadh since the Kingdom started its war on Yemen in March last year.
Based on the 34-page report titled “The Shameful Relationship: UK Complicity in Saudi State Violence”, only in the last three months of 2015, the UK released military export licenses worth of £7 million, despite calls to halt arms sales to Arab kingdom.
“There can be no justification for arming a regime as violent and oppressive as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The UK government must terminate its support for the Saudi military, and end the UK’s complicity in Saudi state violence against citizens in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East,” the report said, adding that UK arms sale to Saudi Arabia were both “immoral” and “illegal”.
In a similar report released by CAAT in early January, it was revealed that UK had licensed the sales of over five billion pounds of military hardware to Saudi Arabia since British Prime Minister David Cameron took office in May 2010.
More than a year of aerial attacks by Saudi Arabia and allies against Yemen have left around 9,500 people dead, while hundreds of thousands have been displaced across the impoverished country.
The illegal attacks are intended to push back the Houthis from Sana’a and other places they control across Yemen so that the country’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a major ally of Riyadh, could be reinstated.