Yemen: Military Intervention

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th October 2019.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the Saudi-led Coalition's compliance with international law in relation to the recent attack on a detention centre in Sana’a.

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are deeply concerned about reports of civilian deaths after an attack on a detention centre in Dhamar province in Yemen on 1 September. Our thoughts are with those who have been affected.

The UK takes alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) extremely seriously. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of IHL, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non-Governmental Organisations and international organisations.

We welcome the Coalition’s referral of this incident to be investigated by the Joint Incident Assessment Team. The UK believes that in the first instance the Coalition should investigate alleged breaches of IHL attributed to them. They have best insight into their own military procedures and this allows them to really understand what went wrong and apply the lessons learnt in the best possible way. The UK regularly raises the importance of IHL and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations with Saudi Arabia, including at senior levels.

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