LONDON (Dispatches) – For more than four years, a brutal Saudi air campaign has bombarded Yemen, killing tens of thousands, injuring hundreds of thousands and displacing millions – creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and British weapons are doing much of the killing, a report says.
A detailed reports published by the Guardian newspaper has shown Britain is massively contributing to Saudi Arabia’s devastating war on Yemen as it suggests that London is not only supplying the bombs that fall on Yemenis, but it provides the personnel and expertise that keep the war going.
Every day Yemen is hit by British bombs – dropped by British planes that are flown by British-trained pilots and maintained and prepared inside Saudi Arabia by thousands of British contractors.
The Saudi-led military coalition, which includes the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, has "targeted civilians … in a widespread and systematic manner”, according to the UN – dropping bombs on hospitals, schools, weddings, funerals and even camps for displaced people fleeing the bombing.
The comprehensive report by Arron Merat published on Tuesday showed that Britain was doing much of the killing in Yemen as the country continues to provide Saudi Arabia with everything it needs to turn its southern impoverished neighbor into a graveyard.
"Every day Yemen is hit by British bombs – dropped by British planes that are flown by British-trained pilots and maintained and prepared inside Saudi Arabia by thousands of British contractors,” said Merat in the report.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and a number of Arab allies launched their illegal war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to restore power to a resigned and fugitive president.
Rights campaigners have repeatedly criticized Britain for its role in helping the killing of civilians in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world which has suffered from a major humanitarian crisis as a result of the Saudi-led war.
The report by the Guardian showed that it is effectively the United States and Britain who are leading the massive onslaught in Yemen as Saudi Arabia contracted out the vital parts of the war to the two military powers from the very beginning of the conflict.
"Britain does not merely supply weapons for this war: it provides the personnel and expertise required to keep the war going,” said the report, adding that the Royal Air Force personnel have been deployed to Saudi Arabia to work as engineers and trainers over the past four years.
It said the Britain’s biggest arms company BAE Systems has played an even larger role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen as it has been subcontracted by London to provide weapons, maintenance and engineers inside Saudi Arabia.
"The Saudi bosses absolutely depend on BAE Systems ...They couldn’t do it without us,” said John Deverell, a former British defense attaché to Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
A BAE employee also said recently that if it was not for the British support, the Saudis would have not been able to continue the war on Yemen for a single week.
"If we weren’t there, in seven to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky,” said the employee in an interview with the Channel 4 in early April.