Civil War in Yemen
- Yemen Civil war is an ongoing conflict between forces loyal to the beleaguered President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and Houthi rebels & forces loyal to the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
- In late March 2015, rebel forces closed in on president Hadi's stronghold of Aden.
- A coalition led by Saudi Arabia responded to requests by Hadi to intervene and launched air strikes on Houthis.
Who are part of the Saudi coalition?
The Saudi coalition of Sunni-majority Arab states include Bahrain. Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, and the UAE. This includes all the GCC states except for Oman, a potential mediator.
US, UK accused of war crimes
- Britain and United States have been accused of being complicit in war crimes in Yemen.
- They are being held indirectly responsible for civilians deaths, due to their role in exporting arms to Saudi Arabia.
- Claims of British complicity were supported by reports from Saudi's Al Arabiya television, which stated that Britain's Tornado and Typhoon jets are used in Saudi's military offensive.
UK's involvement in supply of weapons
- Most of Saudi's weapons are supplied by the US. With help from Britain, the US also offers logistical support, airborne refuelling, with a specialist Pentagon-approved team providing intelligence on targeting.
- Between January and March 2015, UK approved two orders for bombs or missiles for Saudi Arabia worth $26million.
- In July 2015, Britain authorised the transfer of Paveway IV missiles from the RAF to Saudi.
More evidence against Britain
Amnesty and Human Rights Watch issued new evidence, based on their own field research, which showed that a factory in the Sanaa governate that was not involved in any military production, was destroyed by a UK-made cruise missile.
Effects of the civil war
- The UN estimates that 21 million people now lack basic, life-sustaining services, and more than 1.5 million of them have been displaced from their homes.
- UNICEF estimates that as many as 10 children a day are being killed, with six million people facing food insecurity.
- The World Food Programme says most Yemeni provinces are classified as just one level below a full famine crisis.
UK at risk of prosecution for war crimes
- Britain could be prosecuted for war crimes over growing evidence that missiles it sold to Saudi Arabia were used against civilians in Yemen.
- It is understood that Britain's sale of specialist missiles to Saudi throughout nine months of raids against Houthis may breach international humanitarian law.
- This along with technical expertise it provided to assist bombings could result in Britain being hauled before ICC.