Airbus Spain sales ‘may have played role in war crimes in Yemen’


New investigations by a coalition of NGOs have highlighted the impact of arms sales to Spain and elsewhere in Europe on the long and bloody war with Yemen, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians .

Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft have played a key role in Saudi Arabia’s air campaign over Houthi-held areas of Yemen [Getty]

Arms transfers from Airbus Spain to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates may have contributed to war crimes in Yemen, new report says report by a coalition of human rights NGOs.

The report appears to reveal new evidence of direct links between Airbus Spain and other Spanish companies with the two Gulf states, and war crimes they may have committed in Yemen since the start of the grueling civil war in 2015.

Airbus Spain plays a crucial role in the production, export and maintenance of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet, a European multinational fighter jet that has been a key part of the Saudi aerial bombardment of Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

“Spanish military equipment is essential both for aircraft and for a number of other military assets used by the Saudi-UAE-led coalition in Yemen,” Amnesty International’s report said. Delas Center and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). .

“Spanish military equipment is essential both for aircraft and for a number of other military assets used by the Saudi-Emirati-led coalition that has committed atrocities in Yemen,” Alberto Estévez said. , spokesperson for Amnesty International.

“This raises serious questions about the potential complicity of the Spanish government in the commission of international crimes in Yemen,” Estévez said.

The report also targets European arms producers from the UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy for their complicity in alleged Saudi war crimes, as well as state actors for their inaction in the cessation of arms sales during the protracted war.

“Military goods of European origin constitute a substantial part of the overall equipment available to the Saudi and UAE air forces,” added Christian Schliemann-Radbruch of the ECCHR.

“It is time for corporations and government actors to review their actions against the standards of international criminal law and for the ICC Prosecutor to investigate their role in the atrocities committed in Yemen,” he concluded. .

Rasheed al-Faqih, director of local Yemeni NGO Mwatana for Human Rights, said “Spain’s sale of arms to Saudi Arabia amounts to participation in their war crimes against the Yemeni people.”

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the internationally recognized government, a year after Houthi rebels took the capital Sanaa.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have been killed, in what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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