Weapons supplied by the United Kingdom and the United States to the Saudi-led coalition in war-torn Yemen killed at least 839 civilians and wounded 1,775 others in just over a year, a new report said Wednesday.
The report by the Oxfam charity revealed that the Saudi-led coalition used weapons supplied solely by the UK and the US in hundreds of attacks targeting civilians in the Arab country between January 2021 and the end of February 2022.
The 43-page report authored by Martin Butcher, Oxfam’s policy advisor on arms and conflict, stated that an analysis of attacks showed the Saudi-led forces used Western-supplied weapons in hundreds of "relentless" attacks against civilian targets in Yemen during this 14-month period.
Of all the attacks by the Saudi-led coalition during the 14-month period, airstrikes alone killed at least 87 civilians and wounded 136, according to the report.
The coalition attacks, 19 of which targeted medical institutions and ambulances, during this period included airstrikes by jet fighters as well as artillery, missile and drone attacks, in addition to casualties from land mines, road bombs and light arms.
“It’s just so relentless,” Butcher said. “People just find it so hard to escape the violence and the killing.”
The report also found that in the attacks the coalition used western-made cluster munitions, “weapons banned by international convention and customary law.”
Butcher called on Western governments, namely the US and the UK, to “immediately cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen,” and to promote a permanent cease-fire and negotiations for a long-term settlement through its position as a member of the UN Security Council.
“They’ve (the governments) really been not only arming Saudi Arabia but also very reluctant to use their position in the Security Council to push for peace,” he said.
The United States and Britain are the main suppliers of weapons to Saudi Arabia, selling tens of billions of dollars of arms to the leaders in Riyadh.
The oil-rich Western ally has historically played an outsized role in foreign military sales for the US and Britain.
For decades, Saudi leaders have been the lead importers of US-made and UK-manufactured weapons.
Riyadh purchased a huge chunk of all the weapons sold by the two countries between 2017 and 2021, according to peace groups monitoring international arms deals.
Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015.
The objective was to crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen, and reinstall the Riyadh-friendly unpopular regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Last week, a Yemeni rights group reported that more than 3,000 civilians, including women and children, have been killed or injured in the airstrikes launched by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen in the year 2022.
The 'Eye Humanity Center for Rights and Development' said the total number of casualties was 3,083 during last year’s war on Yemen, which included the death of 643 citizens and the wounding of 2,440 others.