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Last Update: 2 Day and 2 Hour and 23 Minute ago
News code: 24022
Published Date: Wednesday 8 November 2017 - 14:41:27
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UK arms sales to Saudis increased 500% since Yemen war

UK arms sales to Saudis increased 500% since Yemen war
World  - The number of British-made bombs and missiles sold to Saudi Arabia since the start of its bloody campaign in Yemen has risen by almost 500 per cent, The Independent has revealed.

More than £4.6bn of arms were sold in the first two years of bombings, with the Government grant increasing numbers of export licenses despite mounting evidence of war crimes and massacres at hospitals, schools and weddings.

The United Nations says air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition are the main cause of almost 5,295 civilian deaths and 8,873 casualties confirmed so far, warning that the real figure is "likely to be far higher".

There is also fresh concern over the Kingdom's attempt to shut all air, land and sea ports into Yemen, which it said was to stop the flow of weapons but will also halt aid imports.

British-made bombs have been found at the scene of bombings deemed to violate international law but the UK has continued its political and material support for Riyadh's campaign.

Figures from the Department for International Trade (DIT) show that in the two years leading up to the Yemen war, £33m of ML4 licences covering bombs, missiles and countermeasures were approved.

But in the two years since the start of Saudi bombing in March 2015, the figure increased by 457 per cent to £1.9bn, according to calculations by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

Licences covering aircraft including Eurofighter jets have also risen by 70 per cent to £2.6bn in the same period.

Tom Barns, co-director of CAAT, said the Government has been accelerating sales of "equipment being used to commit atrocities in Yemen" as the pace of Saudi-led air strikes increases.

"Over the course of this year the situation in Yemen is only getting worse," he added.

News Code: 24022
Published Date: Wednesday 8 November 2017 - 14:41:27
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