British military experts are allegedly working with Saudi Arabia’s army in Yemen.
According to the Sky News, six British experts are helping Saudi Arabia with targeting Houthi fighters in Yemen.
Thousands of people have died in the conflict, many of whom are civilians.
UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the UK army personnel are only “offering Saudi Arabia advice and training on best practice targeting techniques”.
“UK military personnel are not directly involved in Saudi-led Coalition operations, we are offering Saudi Arabia advice and training on best practice targeting techniques to help ensure continued compliance with International Humanitarian Law, we support Saudi forces through longstanding, pre-existing arrangements and will consider any new requests,” a spokesperson from the MoD said.
But experts have cast doubts on the statements. David Mepham, Director of Human Rights Watch UK said the group has condemned Britain’s involvement in Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen.
“Human Rights Watch has put out numerous reports about what the Saudis are up to in Yemen,” he said.
Pressure is mounting on the UK for selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier reports said the UK licensed the sales of over eight billion dollars of military hardware to Saudi Arabia since British Prime Minister David Cameron took office in May 2010. According to the latest figures released by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) NGO, since Cameron was elected almost six years ago, Britain has also sold arms to 24 of the 27 states on its own list of “countries of humanitarian concern,” The Independent reported on Wednesday.
Based on the figures released by CAAT, the Saudis have access to twice the number of British-made warplanes than the Royal Air force has.
CAAT spokesperson Andrew Smith noted that the amount of arms sales to countries on the list, especially Saudi Arabia, shows that “human rights are playing second fiddle to company profits.”
In October last year, during an interview with the UK’s Channel 4, Cameron suggested that London’s “relationship” with the Saudi Arabia supersedes its human rights record.