According to Sputnik News, the British government has been accused of potentially being complicit in alleged Saudi war crimes after a UK Foreign Office (FCO) minister admitted that Saudi forces were “probably” using British-made weapons as part of the country’s intervention in Yemen.
When asked on the issue during a parliamentary debate on the matter, foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood said:
“I can probably confirm that they [British manufactured arms] probably have been used.
“We sell arms to Saudi Arabia — they are using weapons systems which we then sell. The more pertinent question is are they being used responsibly or not and that is the more important question and we need to make sure they are used in that responsible matter.”
The response sparked a backlash from Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, who said the government was “far too relaxed about the horrible civilian death toll in Yemen” and called on London to ensure that its weapons weren’t being used to carry out war crimes.
“The government has previously said that it simply relies on Saudi Arabia’s ‘assurances’ over the proper use of UK-supplied weapons by its forces in Yemen, but how can this ever be good enough? ”
“Mr Ellwood only needs to read our recent report on Yemen — with its evidence of the reckless nature of the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen — to set off the alarm bells.”
“Instead of sitting back and hoping for the best over Saudi Arabia’s use of our weaponry in the blood-drenched conflict in Yemen, he [Mr Ellwood should be suspending all further arms exports to Saudi Arabia and announcing an urgent investigation into whether UK arms have been killing civilians in their hundreds in Yemen.”