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Six billion pounds worth of British weapons licensed to countries in Yemen war

WHITEHALL has licensed £6.3 billion worth of weapons to Saudi-led forces in the first four years of their war in Yemen.

The aerial bombardment of one of the world’s poorest countries has created what the United Nations regards as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

British-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles have all played a central role in the bombing, according to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which compiled the latest figures.

The group obtained official data that showed £5.3bn worth of arms had been licensed for sale to Saudi Arabia.

Another coalition partner, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had received £657 million worth of arms export licences.

CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith said: “Thousands of people have been killed in the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen, but that has done nothing to deter the arms dealers. 

“The bombing has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the complicity and support of Downing Street.”

The revelation comes as the UAE is set to sponsor a major arms fair in London next month, Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI).

Three other dictatorships involved in the bombing, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait, have received licences worth almost £200m.

Representatives from all five countries are expected to attend DSEI.

Mr Smith added: “It is disgraceful that the government has invited the Saudi military and other coalition members to London to buy even more weapons. 

“This only goes to show that no matter how dire the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has become, the government will continue to prioritise arms sales over the rights and lives of Yemeni people.”

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