A United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has uncovered “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law.
The report says: “Many attacks involved multiple airstrikes on multiple civilian objects. Of the 119 sorties, the panel identified 146 targeted objects. The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters.”
Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest buyers of U.K. defense equipment, including planes, began bombing in Yemen in March last year in support of the Yemeni president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was under threat from Houthi forces aligned with Iran.
In a ministerial statement in March 2014, the U.K. government said explicitly that it “will […] not grant a license if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.
An arms sale between Saudi Arabia and Canada has also caused uproar in the latter country.
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