Head of Media at Campaign Against Arms Trade slams UK for selling weapons to KSA

SHAFAQNA – In an interview conducted in the sidelines of Yemen conference this August 20-21, 2016 Andrew Smith slammed  the UK government for providing the Saudi regime with military equipment, training, and intelligence against Yemen.

“The UK has been absolutely central to bombing of Yemen. It has provided training, weaponry and uncritical political support to Saudi regime. It supported this war on Yemen in every possible way – it has even stood by as Saudi Arabia organized a humanitarian blockade.

That humanitarian catastrophe has been supported and fuelled with British weapons and political support.

Since the bombing began the UK has sold £3.3 billion worth of weapons to the kingdom. This includes £2 billion worth of fighter jets which are being flown over Yemen right now.  About a billion pounds worth of Paveway IV bombs which are made in the UK and have been linked to destruction of civilian targets, specifically two factories, is going to be a good evident. We have no doubts that UK weapons have been central to the destruction.”

He added: “We would certainly hope that the new Prime Minister Theresa May changes the position and stop arming Saudi Arabia and supporting its regime. Unfortunately we have no reason to believe that she will.

We would however encourage everyone in the UK to lobby their MP to call for the new Prime Minister to stop arming Saudi Arabia to stop the uncritical support for the most repressive regime in the world.

We have a legal action against the UK government which will be sent to the High Court in January. We hope to see the UK arms export to Saudi Arabia put on trial and the high court rule that these arm sales are illegal.

We hope that it can help to shift UK’s policy. We need to get an end to the bombing.

Even through the ceasefire bomb’s been dropped every single day.

Over the last couple of weeks we have seen a real escalation; just over the last two weeks there has been bombing of food factory, bombing of school, bombing of hospital and today we have seen reports online about bombs killing people taking part in peaceful protest.

This need stop, like every way, civilians are paying the price for it.

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