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Saudis used UK missiles on Yemeni civilian target: Rights groups

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Remnants of the UK-made PGM-500 missile from the site of a Saudi attack on a Yemeni factory near the capital city Sana’a on September 23, 2015 (Amnesty International)

Saudi Arabia used British-made cruise missiles during an attack on a civilian Yemeni factory, say Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

According to a report published by the human rights groups on Wednesday, remains of PGM-500 missiles, manufactured by the UK firm Marconi Dynamics, were found in the rubble of a factory that was targeted near the capital Sana’a in September.

"The attack on the factory in the Sana’a governorate, which appeared to be producing only civilian goods, killed one person, and was in apparent violation of international humanitarian law," read a Human Rights Watch statement.

A Yemeni factory after being targeted by a Saudi attack on September 23, 2015 (Amnesty International) 

Earlier this month, British Foreign Minster Philip Hammond announced that weapons exports to Saudi Arabia would be halted if investigations prove that Riyadh is breaching international humanitarian law during its ongoing aggression against Yemen.

“The latest revelations show UK policy to be both misleading and seriously ineffective. Despite multiple, well-documented cases of violations of the laws of war by the Persian Gulf coalition in Yemen, UK ministers have consistently refused to acknowledge this,” said UK Director at Human Rights Watch David Mepham.

Based on a 2013 British parliamentary report, the UK had granted some four billion pounds worth of weapons export licenses in the five years leading to the report.

The impoverish Arabian Peninsula country has been under incessant airstrikes by the Saudi military since late March.

Yemeni sources say some 7,500 people have lost their lives in the Saudi attacks. The United Nations has put the death toll at over 5,700, including 830 women and children.

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