Britain has a secret detachment of up to 30 troops in Yemen, where they are training Saudi forces amid the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, Declassified has discovered.
Declassified has discovered a secret UK government committee that held meetings with an arms dealer, former oil executive and ex-spy — but parliament is told there are ‘no records’ of what was discussed.
The scale of British arms sales to Riyadh rises again amid secrecy over a meeting between BAE and trade minister Liam Fox after the Khashoggi killing. Documents show both the UK trade ministry and BAE sought to keep arming Saudi Arabia in the immediate wake of the dissident’s murder.
Days after Khashoggi killing, British military sold crucial spare parts to Saudi air force bombing Yemen
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi criticised the Saudi regime for its ‘cruel war’ in Yemen and weeks later it murdered him, sparking an international outcry. But while his fiancée frantically searched for his body, Britain’s military quietly sold spare parts to Saudi Arabia’s air force, so it could keep bombing Yemen. And that arms deal is just one in a series of controversial weapons exports uncovered by Declassified UK.
‘A lot of people share my opinion within the military’, says soldier who protested against UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Al-Batati, a Lance Corporal in the British army, staged a public protest against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia in August, concerned that “a child was dying every 10 minutes” in Yemen. In his first interview since becoming a civilian, he tells Declassified that others in the army share his view and that he took action because parliament did nothing.
The UK military supplied 2,323 spare parts for Tornado fighter jets to an arms company in Saudi Arabia last year, despite a court order against exporting weapons for use in the Yemen war, Declassified UK has found.
A Saudi air force officer who crashed while undertaking ‘operational tasks’ over Yemen was taught to fly by Britain’s Royal Air Force and arms corporation BAE Systems, the UK government has confirmed.
Britain’s Royal Air Force has trained 25 pilots from Saudi Arabia to fly the powerful Typhoon jet and continues to provide instruction on using missiles involved in devastating attacks on civilians in Yemen.
UK defence minister admits that training of Saudi Typhoon pilots is continuing despite Riyadh using these British-made jets to conduct airstrikes in Yemen, a country on the brink of famine.