Al-Sabah Al-Yemeni | follow up |
CAMPAIGNERS have repeated criticism of the UK for continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia as fighter jets rained bombs on the Yemeni capital Sanaa, killing at least 14 people and adding to the country’s worsening humanitarian crisis.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said the UK has licensed £3.8 billion worth of arms since bombing began in March 2015. They included: £2.6bn of licences for aircraft, helicopters, and drones; £1.1bn worth of grenades, bombs, missiles and countermeasures; and £572,000 of armoured vehicles and tanks.
The group added that the humanitarian crisis was deteriorating, with more than 500,000 suspected cases of cholera in Yemen. Andrew Smith, from CAAT, said: “The bombardment of Yemen is getting even worse, and yet the arms sales are still flowing.
“The UK has licensed billions of fighter jets and bombs to the Saudi-led coalition, at the same time as it is inflicting a brutal humanitarian crisis on the people of Yemen.
“If there is to be a peaceful solution in Yemen then it cannot come from more arms sales and bombings.”The bombing has intensified over recent months, with the UN confirming that Yemen has suffered more air strikes in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2016. It also accused the Saudi-led coalition of killing more than 40 civilians this week alone.
Saudi-led coalition fighter jets have attacked Sanaa, levelling houses packed with civilians and killing at least 14 people, including eight members of a single family, said witnesses. The family’s year-old baby was among those killed, relatives in Sanaa’s southern district of Fag Attan said.
The bombing was the latest in a significant escalation in the coalition’s air campaign in Yemen. On Wednesday, at least 41 people died when air strikes hit a small hotel in the town of Arhab, north of Sanaa. The attack prompted the UN to renew calls for an investigation into the atrocities in Yemen’s civil war.
Over the past two years, more than 10,000 people have been killed and three million displaced amid the coalition’s air campaign against Yemen’s Iran-backed Shiite. The Saudi-led campaign is seeking to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised government back to power.
The worst-hit house in Fag Attan was a three-storey building occupied by at least three families. Mohammed al-Rimi and his wife lived on the first floor with their six children. They all died except one child. A visiting brother-in-law was also killed.
Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it has confirmed that 33 of the 41 people killed in Arhab were civilians. The air strikes have hit schools, hospitals and markets, killing thousands of civilians and prompting rights groups to accuse the coalition of war crimes.
The NAT ONAL