Top Tory accuses Britain of 'complicity' in Yemen atrocities as UK forces training op revealed

Posted On: 
26th November 2017

A senior Tory has accused Britain of “shameful complicity” in crimes against humanity committed in Yemen - as it emerged UK forces have been secretly training Saudi troops.

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell served as international development secretary from 2010-12
Credit: 
PA

Former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell has already slammed the UK for selling arms to Riyadh as it bombs Yemenis.

Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis amid Saudi Arabian raids, with an estimated 1 million children facing starvation and serious illness as a result of the conflict.

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The training mission, codenamed Operation Crossways, was revealed after the army mistakenly released photos and information, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Up to 50 UK troops have been teaching battlefield skills to soldiers who will go on to fight in the war in Yemen, the report adds.

Mr Mitchell told the paper: “The UK has been shamefully complicit in Saudi’s role in Yemen, which has clearly included breaches of the Geneva Conventions. 

"I have no doubt Parliament will require an explanation of this training mission in view of the high level of concern about the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen.”

Former head of the Royal Navy Lord West said: "Given the sensitivities surrounding Saudi Arabia and Yemen at the moment it would be better to be open about what we are doing. Our training will hopefully save lives."

A serving senior British Army officer added: "There will be serious concern that this mission has leaked out given the sensitivities of Saudi’s role in the Yemen conflict."