‘Two reasons UK supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia: Money and more money’
The UK's role in Yemen's civil war is coming under increasing scrutiny as it has been revealed that Britain is still providing training for the Saudi Air Force despite growing evidence the Saudi-led coalition’s actions are causing unacceptable levels of civilian deaths in Yemen.
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the UK helps the Royal Saudi Air Force “improve its targeting processes.”
RT: What do you make of Britain's continuing role in helping arm the Saudi-led coalition which has been pummeling Yemen since March 2015?
Graham Moore: I find it absolutely disgraceful, shameful and absolutely disgusting. And I’ve got to add that the British establishment, not the English, Welsh, Scots or Northern Irish, who’ve entered into these deals supplying a despicable inhumane regime such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE with aircraft, long-range cruise missiles and training. It is frankly disgusting and it should be stopped.
RT: Britain’s Middle East Minister - Tobias Ellwood - justifies the UK’s Saudi arms sales by saying the Saudi-led coalition is fighting a “legitimate war, endorsed by the UN resolution” in Yemen, despite making some “mistakes.” Why do you think the civilian casualties are being almost brushed aside? The word ‘collateral damage’ seems to be used a lot…
GM: I agree entirely. I have heard different things said on this subject including that the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia is keeping people in this country safe on the streets. I can’t see BAE [a British multinational defense, security and aerospace company], for example, or the government spending those profits on CCTV cameras in this country. In fact, all I can see are the Saudis funding sedition via mosques or madrasas in Britain. I don’t understand why we are tolerating them at all. But this isn’t the first time that the British have got involved with this type of the things. Indonesia, East Timor, the British supplied Hawk jets to Indonesia to slaughter the Eastern Timorese. In Zimbabwe, in Yemen. This continues. In recent months and the last two years I believe it is in the region of £2.7 billion that were received from Saudi for these weapons.
RT: Humanitarian and peace groups worldwide have been calling on the UK and the US to suspend arms supplies while the Yemen campaign continues to cause civilian casualties. Why the reluctance to even consider halting weapons supplies and training?
GM: Two reasons. One is money and the other is money. That’s it, pure and simple. The arms industry, BAE, for example; there are number of others in this country supplying all manner of weapons. It is about profit and it is about keeping those arms companies and the big finance deals going. But just to give you an example of that (…) In 1996, for example, and again going back to Indonesia and East Timor, the demonstrators broke into the BAE Systems plant – not a lot of people remember this. And they took a hammer to the jets they were supplying. And when it went to court, the jury found the people not guilty.
Dr. Jalal Fairooz, Middle East commentator, told RT: "Amnesty International last March said that they have found cluster bombs in Yemen which are made in the UK."
"According to Oxfam, the UN is aware that some of the weapons that are being shed on civilians in Yemen are UK-made. The US has made some investigation on the latest bombing on the funeral, but the UK said that they are ok with the Saudi investigation. The situation is getting backfired on the UK because there has been a breach of international humanitarian law. And the UN is very much concerned. The opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked for an investigation and the stop to the arms sales," he added.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.