Government must ensure UK arms are not used against Yemen, says CAAT

By agency reporter
March 29, 2015

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has called on the UK government to ensure that weapons supplied by UK companies are not being used in the ongoing Saudi led air-strikes on Yemen.

According to reports from the Saudi owned Al-Arabiya network, Saudi Arabia is leading a six country aerial campaign that also includes Jordan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21550)

The network claims that Saudi Arabia is providing 100 fighter jets and 150,000 soldiers for the military campaign.

In 2010 a report from Amnesty International concluded that it was “extremely likely” that UK supplied Tornado fighter-bombers had been used in the Saudi led bombing of Yemen in 2009. The report found that “Some of these attacks appeared to be indiscriminate or disproportionate and to have caused civilian deaths and injuries.”

Saudi Arabia is the largest buyer of UK weapons. The Coalition government alone has licensed over £3.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi regime. UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia include a number of combat aircraft:

- A contract for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft
- A £200 million contract to upgrade 70 F-15 combat aircraft with BAE Systems’ Digital Electronic Warfare System
- In 2012 BAE completed the upgrading of the Saudi Tornado fleet. "Central to the upgrade is a new digital weapons and avionics system"

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against arms Trade said: "UK weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen before, in a bombardment that resulted in civilian deaths?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."

* Campaign Against Arms Trade https://www.caat.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.