The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made the statement alongside International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, that, “Saudi Arabia has the right to defend itself against security threats including missiles launched from Yemen, and we support the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts to restore legitimacy in Yemen, as accepted by the U.N. Security Council.” They added that, “The humanitarian crisis triggered by the conflict has left over 22 million people in need of assistance. Without de-escalation and a political settlement millions of civilians risk starvation.” The United Kingdom has made a clear stance on Iranian aggression and has been a strong proponent Saudi Arabia’s security.
While the U.K. has stressed it wants to reach “an inclusive political solution,” it has pleaded with Iranian officials to cease it’s militant support of Houthi rebels through the supply of arms and advisement. Now into it’s 4th year, the conflict continues to be a topic of controversy between the neighborhood of countries in the Middle East. Media outlets local to Saudi Arabia confirmed that United States supplied Patriot missile systems were used to intercept the Iran supplied missiles. Al-Akhbariya has stated, “Air defence forces intercept and destroy seven ballistic missiles fired at the kingdom.”
In a move to encourage Iran to follow prior United Nations security resolutions, the U.K.’s parliament said, “A U.N. Panel of Experts has concluded that Iran is in non-compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolutions for failing to take measures to prevent the supply of Iranian-made ballistic missiles to the Houthis.” Iran vehemently denied giving military support to the anti-Saudi government forces.
Yemen is the site of “worst humanitarian crisis in the world” according to the United Nations. Cholera and Diphtheria pandemics have only deteriorated the situation further and UNICEF’s MENA director, Geert Cappelaere, has made it known that $350 million is needed in the way of medical support. Cappelaere said, “UNICEF is asking for 2018 alone for its humanitarian programme close to $350m. That is peanuts compared to the billions of dollars that are currently invested in fighting war. We are asking for peanuts.”
Amnesty International’s Director of Research for the Middle East, Lynn Maalouf has stated that, “There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians. But this has not deterred the U.S., the U.K. and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars’ worth of such arms. As well as devastating civilian lives, this makes a mockery of the global Arms Trade Treaty.”
Featured Image Courtesy of fahd sadi [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons