What you don’t know about the U.K’s rolein the war against Yemen!
Channel 4 Dispatches investigates the extent to which the war in Yemen is made in Britain, explainaing that the government in London was actively involved in the war on Yemen, by supplying weapons to the coalition and providing permanent maintenance to them through British experts working in the Saudi forces, and has been doing this since the start of the war on Yemen about four years ago.
• British technicians working for the UK’s biggest defence contractor are working on air bases in Saudi Arabia keeping Saudi jets in the sky. One former BAE Systems worker who left a few months ago reveals the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) would be unable to fly its fleet of Typhoon fighter jets without this support. He tells Dispatches: “With the amount of aircraft they’ve got and the operational demands, if we weren’t there in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”
• British and American forces have military “liaison officers’ in the Saudi Air Operations Centre in Riyadh to help ensure the Saudis adhere to international humanitarian law. But we find they are mostly confined to a “cubby hole” away from the operations floor where key decisions are made.
• We find flaws in the Saudi targeting process: most air strikes are not directed by the Saudi Air Operations Centre, meaning targets are not always checked against “no strike lists” of schools, hospitals and other civilian targets.
• Former US Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta says the UK and US do not have clean hands in the Yemen conflict.
• Former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell MP says the UK is “complicit” in strikes that have killed civilians.
• Former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald says BAE Systems could face criminal liability for their involvement if they are aware of any breaches of international humanitarian law
Last week, Defence Minister Mark Lancaster revealed in a written reply to Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP that 282 MoD and civilian staff provide support to BAE Systems which is the largest profiteer from UK-Saudi arms sales. This revelation leaves beyond doubt the fact that this war would be impossible without British support and that this government is directly responsible for civilian casualties in Yemen.
The lack of coverage in the mainstream media of a war in which Britain is so deeply involved is nothing less than disturbing. There was some coverage recently when the Department for International Development and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office announced a new aid budget for Yemen. However, somewhat unsurprisingly many of the reports that covered it, along with Jeremy Hunt’s simultaneous trip, made little or no mention of arms sales.
The UK has licensed over £4.7 billion worth of arms exports, including missiles and fighter jets, to Riyadh since the Saudi regime and its allies launched the war on Yemen in early 2015.
Mohammed Abdul Salam, the official spokesman of Ansarullah, has commented on the investigation of the British Channel 4 on the war against Yemen.
“The true features of the aggression against Yemen are revealed one day after another: that this aggression is a US-British war, and the Saudi-led coalition is only a tool at the hand of Britain,” Mohammed Abdul Salam said on his Twitter account on Thursday.
One day after day, the true features of the brutal aggression against Yemen, the British American Zionist and the rest are functional tools that work to implement the goals and interests of the countries of interest,” Abdul Salam said.
Ministry of Human Rights announced the death and injury of 42,055 citizens, including women and children, during four years of the war against Yemen.
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
However, Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the US in its brutal war on Yemen. Washington has deployed a commando force on the Arab kingdom’s border with Yemen to help destroy arms belonging to Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. Washington has also provided logistical support and aerial refueling.