Yemen: Humanitarian and Political Situation - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:48 pm on 20th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Marlesford Lord Marlesford Conservative 5:48 pm, 20th November 2017

My Lords, was Her Majesty’s Government in a position to warn Prince Mohammed bin Salman, then defence Minister, now Crown Prince, how unwise it would be to intervene in this military conflict, for several reasons? The obvious one is that using sophisticated western weapons on their own would never win that war. The only way, as we have seen in Iraq and Syria, is boots on the ground, and the last time there was a major boots-on-the-ground intervention in Yemen was in 1964-66, when Egypt suffered 28,000 casualties.

Secondly, does he realise how undesirable it has been to extend the Sunni-Shia conflict in this way? Thirdly, it is very clear that the humanitarian results have been a disaster. Fourthly, the Statement referred to the ungoverned spaces. Those of us who have been to Yemen know that a large of the interior of Yemen is ungoverned. The Sanaa Government had control only over the main highways. Finally, does he realise how dangerous it has been for Saudi Arabia itself? It is not unconnected with the recent purge of princes in Saudi Arabia, under the pretext of fighting corruption.