A number of British troops have been injured in recent weeks during direct confrontations with Houthi rebels in Yemen, seeming to give increasing weight to claims that Britain is directly involved in the Saudi Arabian war on Yemen.
At least five members of the Special Boat Service (SBS) have been injured in clashes with the Houthi Ansarullah movement in northern Sa’ada Province, with around 30 British commandos stationed in the province in all.
The latest revelations come after it was revealed that British forces are maintaining Saudi aircraft sold to the Gulf State by Britain, the same aircraft involved in the bombing campaign that has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region. Speaking in parliament this past Monday, Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster acknowledged that the RAF is providing “engineering support” and “generic training” to Saudi Arabian forces.
The injuries to British troops are equally likely to add yet further pressure on Theresa May to reveal exactly what Britain’s role is in the conflict, with Foreign Secetary Jeremy Hunt having been criticised for promoting peace initiatives in the region while British forces continue to act alongside the Saudis in the country.
The British government has sanctioned over £4.7b worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the conflict in Yemen, including both missiles and fighter jets and has so far resisted calls to disengage with the Saudi regime, despite verifiable human righst abuses both in Yemen and on their own soil.
The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) has recorded over 30,000 deaths in Yemen in 2018 stemming directly from the conflict, with over 80,000 killed in total. This figure is one of many shocking statistics from the war, which many are suggesting is tantamount to genocide.
20 million people across Yemen are hungry, with half suffering from extreme levels of hunger. Close to 240,000 people are living in famine-like conditions. Up to 4.3 million people have been displaced during the war, with 3.3 million people remaining so. 177,000 people have fled from Yemen into neighbouring countries in search of refuge.
It is impossible for Britain to stand on the world stage and lecture other nations on their deficiencies toward human rights while assisting and profiting from Saudi Arabia’s willful destruction of Yemen and the Yemeni people. This morally deficient realist philosophy must give way toward acknowledgement of Britain’s actions in Yemen by the Prime Minister and a cessation of all cooperation within this conflict. The want of profit and regional hegemony is by no means worth the horrific cost of this “forgotten” conflict.