Yemen: Military Intervention

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 12th July 2021.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many British military personnel have operated from Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen in the last 12 months; what their role has been; and what regiment they serve in.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on updating the House on the deployment of British military personnel in Yemen.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether UK military personnel have reported any concerns on torture or mistreatment at Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen in the last 12 months.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports by Human Rights Watch that torture is being practised at a Saudi-run prison camp at Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen.

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party, East Lothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Consolidated Guidance to Service Personnel on overseas detention and reports by Human Rights Watch of torture being practised by Saudi forces at al-Ghaydah airport, what assessment he has made of the compliance with that guidance of the deployment of UK military personnel to Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

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