Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) spokesman Andrew Smith, in a comment to Sputnik, harshly criticized the United Kingdom for its military and political support to Saudi Arabia, in particular, for selling arms, which are used in Yemen to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On July 10, the UK high court announced its ruling on the judicial review launched by CAAT of the UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, stating that the sales were legal and could continue despite the concern over numbers of civilian deaths in Riyadh’s military campaign in Yemen.
“UK arms have already been used against civilians in Yemen. Right now UK-made fighter jets are dropping UK-made bombs. The bombardment has had a devastating impact on Yemen, killing thousands of civilians and destroying vital infrastructure … At present, the UK, and others, are arming and supporting some of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the world,” Smith said.
According to the organization’s spokesman, the continued UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia do not simply “provide military support, they are also a clear statement of political support.”
Smith added that the problem was bigger than just one country and the arms sales had to be stopped on a global scale.
“We don’t just need to stop the arms sales, we need to end the international mindset that allows them in the first place,” Smith said.
The sales of UK arms to Saudi Arabia and the further use of the weaponry in Yemen had been under intense public scrutiny for some time, with the United Nations and Human Rights Watch non-governmental organization pointing out that some of the operations carried out in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition may be in breach of international laws.
Yemen is torn apart by the conflict between the forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Saudi-led coalition is carrying out airstrikes at the request of Hadi.