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Sun Jun 23, 2019, 01:18 PM

British target training of Saudi air force 'did not stop Yemen atrocities'

Source: The Observer

British target training of Saudi air force ‘did not stop Yemen atrocities’

Court documents in arms sales case show civilians were bombed soon after training sessions

Mark Townsend Home Affairs Editor
Sun 23 Jun 2019 05.59 BST

Government claims that British military training improved the humanitarian record of the Saudi air force have been contradicted by documents suggesting it did little to prevent atrocities.

On 20 June the court of appeal ruled that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful, in a judgment that accused ministers of failing to properly assess the risk the weapons posed to civilians in Yemen.

Government lawyers, attempting to justify the arms exports, argued that British training for the Royal Saudi Air Force embedded good practice and ensured “greater compliance” with international humanitarian law.

Yet court documents from the case show that indiscriminate bombing of civilians by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen took place after British training – sometimes almost immediately after. Three days after Britain provided training – between 27 July and 14 August 2015 – up to 70 people were killed by airstrikes and shelling at the port at Hodeidah.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/23/british-training-saudi-air-force-atrocities-yemen

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