A UK-based NGO and campaigning organization has demanded Britain ensure that its weapons will not be used by Saudi Arabia in its aggression against Yemen.
Andrew Smith, media coordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) says: “The government must ensure that UK weapons are not contributing to the violence and that there are no UK nationals or employees of UK companies involved, including BAE employees preparing aircrafts for bombing.”
“UK weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen before, in a bombardment that resulted in civilian deaths,” RT quoted him as saying.
This is while the Saudi government is conducting airstrikes in war-torn Yemen along with Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has reportedly set aside 100 fighter jets and 150,000 soldiers for use in the invasion.
Now Danny Makki, a London-based Middle East expert, says: “The United Kingdom’s policy is very clear when it comes to selling weapons all across the world. The fact is they sell weapons to dictatorial and tyrannical states all across the Arab world and the Middle East. It’s a cynical hypocrisy of the states such as Saudi Arabia and such as other [Persian] Gulf Arab states for using these weapons to bomb other Arab countries and innocent civilians. They have dictatorial regimes in play and do not follow anything to do with democracy, liberalism, or human rights. It manifests the level of double-standard present in the UK foreign policy especially towards [Persian] Gulf Arab countries.”
Makki told Press TV’s UK Desk on Monday that “Saudi Arabia is a country which buys weapons in tens of millions and billions from the UK and Europe. When the UK is selling these weapons to these dictatorships, they are actually enforcing the notion that the UK is OK with dictatorship. Yet, it (the UK) chooses to stigmatize and demonize other leaders in the Arab world and the Middle East for being dictatorial or not having enough democracy. It (The UK) funds, supports, and aids some of the most tyrannical, oppressive and barbaric regimes in the whole of the world.”
Saudi Arabia is estimated to be Britain’s most prolific weapons buyer. Since coming to power in 2010, the UK’s Conservative-led government has licensed in excess of £3.8 billion worth of arms to the Persian Gulf regime, according to CAAT.
Britain sells a range of arms to the Persian Gulf state, including the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. It also maintains other arms for the Saudi regime such as the F-15 combat aircraft and the Saudi Tornado fleet.
Amnesty International previously concluded it was “extremely likely” that UK-supplied Tornado fighter-bombers were used in a Saudi-led military offensive against Yemen in 2009.
A report by the human rights group, published in 2010, claimed some of the airstrikes carried out by Saudi Arabia during the conflict appeared to be “indiscriminate or disproportionate.”