15:50 GMT +323 October 2019
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    A guard sits on the rubble of the house of Brigadier Fouad al-Emad, an army commander loyal to the Houthis, after air strikes destroyed it in Sanaa, Yemen June 15, 2015

    UK Royal Air Force Bombs Diverted to Saudis for Yemen, Syria Strikes

    © REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah
    Middle East
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    Britain is diverting precision-guided bombs once intended for its Royal Air Force to Saudi Arabia so the Gulf State can build up a supply of the bombs it is using against targets in Yemen and Syria.

    The air forces of both nations use the precision-guided Paveway IV bomb on BAE Systems-supplied Tornado and Typhoon jets, making stocks easily interchangeable, Defense News reported.

    The Saudi Royal Air Force has been using the highly accurate, 500-pound bombs in its airstrikes against Islamic State targets and against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    Earlier this week, the UK Ministry of Defense, responding to a House of Lords question regarding the amount of assistance Britain had given Riyadh in its fight in Yemen, said:

    "We are not participating directly in Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, but we are providing technical support, precision-guided weapons and exchanging information with the Saudi Arabian armed forces through pre-existing arrangements."

    An MoD spokesperson told RT: "The use of these weapons is a matter for the Saudis but we are assured that they will be used in compliance with international law."

    Anti-arms trade campaigners have criticized Britain's support of the Saudis in the conflict in Yemen.

    "The Saudi bombing has created a humanitarian catastrophe and now we know the UK weapons have contributed to it," Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, said in an interview with RT.

    "With the destruction of Yemen and the intensifying crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia, the UK government is sending the message that human rights and democracy are less important than arms sales."

    Related:

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    Houthis Say Arab Coalition Strikes Halted in Yemen Amid Humanitarian Pause
    Tags:
    Daesh, bombs, Houthi rebels, Saudi Royal Air Force, British Royal Air Force, UK Ministry of Defence, Yemen, Syria, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia
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