MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, Hammond in a letter to Stephen Twigg, the head of a cross-party committee who called on the British cabinet to suspend arms supplies to Riyadh, said that Saudi Arabia was complying with international human rights laws in Yemen. Prior to that, international watchdogs repeatedly claimed that the Saudi airstrikes were killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure.
"It is deeply disappointing that the UK government does not accept that breaches of international humanitarian law have taken place in Yemen <…> The failure to hold parties to the conflict to account for their actions appears to have contributed to an ‘anything goes’ attitude by both sides to this conflict," the House of Commons' International Development Committee said in a report.
Late last year, Amnesty International reported that civilian infrastructure in Yemen was destroyed by the Saudi-led coalition using a UK-made cruise missile. Later, The Independent reported that the UK government could be prosecuted for war crimes after more evidence emerged of the use of UK weapons sold to Saudi Arabia against civilian targets in Yemen.
Since 2014, Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, the country’s main opposition force, who have been supported by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since March 2015, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been conducting airstrikes on Houthi positions at Hadi's request.