UK arms to sales to Saudi are 'breeding a new generation of terrorists'

Former Government minister warns that the bombardment of Yemen with British-manufactured weapons heightens the risk of terrorist attack

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Indy Politics

Former Government Minister Andrew Mitchell has warned that Britain is heightening the risk of terror attacks at home by assisting Saudi Arabia in its bombing and blockade of Yemen.

Mr Mitchell, a high profile campaigner on the ongoing civil war in Yemen, said the UK’s role in the Saudi led coalition risked it becoming “complicit in the destruction of a sovereign state.”

“Yemen is not starving, Yemen is being starved and Britain is part of a coalition that is blockading this country by both land and sea,” Mr Mitchell told The Daily Telegraph. “People are horrified about what is happening and we are stoking hatred in this generation and particularly the next generation.”

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen, since Saudi Arabia began bombing the country in March 2014 after Houthi rebels rebelled against the Yemeni government.

The UK government continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, even after recent reports indicated that now-banned British-manufactured cluster munitions sold to the Saudi government decades ago have been dropped in civilian areas.

Mr Mitchell is not in favour of ending arms sales, as several opposition groups have called for, but suggested Britain could intervene to “stop Yemen being pounded back into the Stone Age.”

“There is no way the coalition is going to win in Yemen, where attitudes every day are hardening,” he added.

“We are supporting President Hadi, who has virtually no support in Yemen and is the only president I have ever come across who has to make an official visit to his own country.”

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