Amnesty International condemns US, UK over Yemen arms

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SHAFAQNA – Amnesty International on Thursday condemned the United States and Britain for transferring arms to Saudi Arabia to use in its war in Yemen, Western media reported.

The rights group said the two countries had together sent more than five billion dollars (4.6 billion euros) worth of arms to Riyadh since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015.

That was more than 10 times their humanitarian aid to Yemen during the same period, it added.

The London-based watchdog described the arms transfers as a ‘shameful contradiction’ of aid efforts by the United States and Britain.

‘These governments have continued to authorize such arms transfers at the same time as providing aid to alleviate the very crisis they have helped to create,’ said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty’s deputy director of research for the Middle East and North Africa.

‘Yemeni civilians continue to pay the price of these brazenly hypocritical arms supplies.’

The Saudi-led Arab coalition has come under repeated criticism over civilian casualties in Yemen.

Earlier this month, Amnesty accused the Saudi-led coalition of using banned cluster munitions in raids on residential areas.

Amnesty said the bombs, made in Brazil, had been used in multiple attacks since October 2015, most recently last month in the Huthi-controlled northern Saada region.

In December the coalition admitted it had made ‘limited use’ of British-made cluster bombs. It maintains it does not deliberately target civilians.

Iran has repeatedly condemned crimes committed against the oppressed people of Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition including demolishing infrastructures in Yemen and killing defenseless civilians in almost two years of devastating war against that country.

In March 2015, a so-called Saudi-led coalition began a major aggression on Yemen in a bid to reinstate the country’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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