UK-Armed Airstrikes Part of a ‘Pattern of Violence Against Civilians’ in Yemen: Oxfam
The British organization Oxfam issued a report against the arms trade that revealed that the US-Saudi warplanes carried out 1,700 attacks against civilians in Yemen with American and British weapons, killing at least 87 Yemenis within one year.
Middle East Eye reported last Sunday that “Oxfam” monitored a number of air raids launched by the aggression warplanes using American weapons, killing 87 civilians in Yemen, within 14 months, in addition to hundreds of raids on civilians between 2020 and 2021, mostly with American and British weapons.
The organization said that “Britain is helping to fuel violence against civilians in Yemen through arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” noting that the raids were responsible for injuring 136 civilians, in addition to 19 air strikes on hospitals, clinics and ambulances, and 293 attacks that forced people to flee their homes , according to the report.
Martin Butcher, Oxfam’s Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict, confirmed that ““The sheer number of attacks on civilians is stark testament to the terrible tragedy the people of Yemen have suffered,” noting that ““The intensity of these attacks would not have been possible without a ready supply of arms. That is why it’s vital the UK government and others must immediately stop the arms sales that are fuelling war in Yemen.”
The report indicated that, according to the United Nations, the US-Saudi aggression against Yemen has killed at least 11,000 children, and displaced millions of Yemenis from their villages and homes as a result of the continuation of the war.
Since the Saudi-led aggression began its intervention in Yemen, the UK has licensed at least £7.9 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia across 547 licenses. Researchers at CAAT have estimated that the true value of arms sales is over £23 billion when additional ‘open licenses’ are taken into account.
An earlier court hearing about the UK’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia in June 2019 forced the government to suspend new arms licences and review its arms licensing decisions. The government later announced it had carried out a review and resumed issuing new licenses.
The war has caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties and forced over four million people from their homes, contributing to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Over 21.5 million Yemenis are in need of assistance and 17.3 million people suffer from acute hunger, including over two million children with acute malnutrition.