UK-made cluster bombs used by Saudis in Yemen, says report

Posted On: 
19th December 2016

UK-made cluster munitions were used by the Saudi-led coalition in the current conflict in Yemen, it has been claimed.

Michael Fallon is said to have seen analysis exposing the use of cluster bombs by Saudi forces
Credit: 
PA Images

It is understood the Government’s own investigations back up media reports that the illegal weapons have been used in the war, in which the UK is helping to train Saudi forces.

Defence Secretary Mchael Fallon is said to be among the ministers to have known about the analysis, however confirmation from Saudi Arabia has not been forthcoming.

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A senior defence source told The Guardian the issue of UK-made cluster munitions was “something that has been raised at the highest possible levels and we have been trying to establish definitively for some time”.

The UK is a signatory to a 2010 treaty banning the use of cluster bombs, which often detonate long after they have landed to cause maximum damage.

A government spokesman said: “The Government takes such allegations very seriously. We have analysed the case carefully using all available information, considering all possibilities, and raised the issue with the Saudi-led coalition.”

Theresa May has reiterated her support for the Saudis, saying the intervention in Yemen is backed by the United Nations and “the security of the Gulf is important to us”.

She added: "The intelligence we get from Saudi Arabia has saved potentially hundreds of lives here in the UK."

Her comments came after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Saudi Arabia of engaging in "puppeteering and proxy wars" in the Gulf.