Saudi Arabia

1 December 2016News

High Court to scrutinise UK arms exports

On 11 July, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) handed in a petition to Downing Street, London, against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Photo: CAAT

‘No one questions that these people are terrorists, but their presence in that city cannot justify an assault on 275,000 innocent people, still less the imposition of a siege, which is, by its very nature, a wholly indiscriminate tactic.’

These were the words of British foreign secretary Boris Johnson during a speech in which he…

1 December 2016Feature

An interview with the co-founder of the women-led US peace group CODEPINK.

CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin at a protest on Wall Street, 2008. Photo: Thomas Good/Next Left Notes [GFDL] via Wikimedia Commons

Having become one of the most prominent US anti-war activists protesting against the US-led ‘war on terror’, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the group CODEPINK, has now turned her attention to her nation’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

‘I’ve been doing a lot of work around the Middle East conflicts since the 9/11 attacks’, Benjamin, 64, tells…

1 August 2016News

3-day investigation to take place next February

The high court was silent on 30 June when judge Andrew Gilbart announced that he would be granting a judicial review into the legality of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It was only decorum and tradition that stopped us from cheering or breathing a big sigh of relief.

Our claim calls on the secretary of state for business, innovation & skills to suspend all current licences – and to stop issuing any more arms export licences to Saudi Arabia for weapons which could be used in…

1 February 2016News

Campaigners bring legal challenge to UK arms exports

The British government must end arms sales to Saudi Arabia because of the Saudi naval blockade of, and air strikes in, Yemen that are breaching international law, according to Amnesty International and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). An arms cut-off is supported by most people in the UK, a recent poll has found.

On 10 January, a law firm acting for CAAT began taking legal action against the government, issuing a ‘pre-action protocol letter for judicial review’. Leigh Day cited…

31 March 2015Feature

Juan Cole explains what's really behind current events in Yemen

The massive twin bombings at mosques in the capital that shook Yemen on 20 March, killing over 100 and wounding many more, were immediately claimed by Daesh (the Arab acronym for ISIS/ISIL). Since the mosques were largely attended by members of the Houthi movement who subscribe to Zaidi, Shi’ite Islam, and Daesh is ultra-Sunni, the bombings also suggest Sunni-Shi’ite conflict of the sort that has characterised Iraq’s recent sectarian violence.

But Daesh doesn’t in fact have a…

30 May 2012News in Brief

In late May, the government of Saudi Arabia announced that it had awarded a £1.6bn training contract with BAE Systems. The order includes the purchase of 22 Hawk trainer/fighter jets from BAE (to be supplied in 2016) and 55 aircraft made by a Swiss company.

The aircraft will be used to train Saudi pilots to fly 72 Eurofighter Typhoons made by a European consortium including BAE. The Typhoon order, signed in 2006, was worth more than £6bn.

The latest deal has saved 278 jobs at a…