A British government minister has admitted that his country is servicing fighter jets supplied to Saudi Arabia which are being used in an indiscriminate bombardment of civilians in Yemen.
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster told the parliament on Monday that Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) was providing “engineering support” and “generic training” to Saudi Arabian military in its war on its southern neighbor.
Lancaster was responding to a question by opposition Labour Party lawmaker Lloyd Russell-Moyle, on military personnel seconded to BAE Systems, a major British arms dealing company, in Saudi Arabia.
“RAF personnel on secondment to BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia have provided routine engineering support for UK-supplied aircraft operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), including aircraft engaged in military operations in Yemen,” said the minister.
The reply came as Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP, had alleged that British support for Saudi Arabia’s military has enabled the kingdom to keep its devastating air war on Yemen going.
The admission to offering of direct military support to Saudis in the midst of the war on Yemen comes despite previous statements by UK government officials who had denied London had any role in the plight of the Yemenis affected by the Saudi war.
More than 15,000 Yemenis, an absolute majority of them civilians, have been killed in four years of Saudi Arabia’s illegal war on their nation.
This comes as UK-supplied weapons and aircraft have repeatedly been used to bomb schools, hospitals and other types of civilian infrastructure in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
Many have called on the London to totally ban arms sale to Saudi Arabia as the kingdom faces growing number of accusations about its records on human rights.