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    Smoke rises from a house of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh after a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, May 10, 2015.

    UK Government Fuels Yemeni Conflict, Breaches Laws - Watchdog

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    The UK government is breaking domestic, European and international law, and fuelling the ongoing Yemeni conflict by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, prominent human rights advocates said in a report on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Last month, international watchdogs reported that in September 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.

    On Thursday, Amnesty International released a report containing comments of various human right advocates and lawyers on the issue.

    "The UK has fuelled this appalling conflict through reckless arms sales which break its own laws and the global Arms Trade Treaty it once championed," Kate Allen, the Amnesty International UK director, was quoted in the report as saying.

    Executive Director of the Safeworld charity organization, Paul Murphy, said the United Kingdom would better act as a peace broker, rather than an arms broker, and insisted that the UK government "must halt these arms sales immediately."

    The report concluded that any authorization by the United Kingdom of the transfer of weapons and related items to Saudi Arabia, which could be used against civilian targets, would be a breach of law, as well as the UK knowledge that Riyadh could have used arms against civilians.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Since late March, a Saudi-led coalition including Arab countries has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Hadi.

    Earlier this year, the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Saudi Arabian attacks on civilian areas had broken international law. Saudi Arabia denies the claims.

    Related:

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    Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Kingdom
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