UK Arms Sales to Saudis Doubled Since Yemen War Began

Groups urge Britain to end arms sales, support for dictatorship

Newly released British government data shows that since 2015, the UK government has doubled the value of its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with most of the sales consisting of missiles sold under secretive licenses.

Reports from the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) criticized the sales as expanding a “terrible humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” while Western arms companies viewed the situation as a business opportunity.

CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith further added that the war wasn’t possible without the complicity of the US and British governments, calling it “long past time for Westminster to end the arms sales and stop its uncritical support for the dictatorship.”

This has been the same debate the Trump Administration has sought to avoid in the US, where US arms sales for the Saudis have skyrocketed, with Congressional bids to stop the sales rejected by the White House on the grounds that the sales are so high.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of