Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:7AM
Activists rally in front of the UK Parliament to protest British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. (file photo)
Activists rally in front of the UK Parliament to protest British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. (file photo)
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Britain is up to its neck in Yemen: it is the major supplier of the bombs dropped on Yemen, and of the jets used to drop them; it provides diplomatic cover to the Saudis (such as repeatedly blocking an independent investigation into Saudi war crimes); it supports the starvation blockade of the country; it provides training and logistical assistance to the Saudi armed forces; and it has 125 soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia, including six officers based in the Saudi command and control HQ "assisting with target selection".

Indeed, Britain may well have officers embedded in the Saudi army itself, given 2015’s "take out the trash day" admission that Britain has 177 military personnel embedded within the armed forces of several other, undisclosed, countries.

Yet ministers continue to mislead parliament in claiming Britain is "not a party" to the war in Yemen. As Mark Curtis, a historian and analyst of UK foreign policy and international development, has noted, this line was even repeated on the very day the British government disclosed that the Saudis used five different types of British bombs and missiles on Yemen.