The UK government sneaks out its sickening plan to ‘work with’ the Saudi butchers in Yemen

Boris Johnson Mohammad bin Salman
Support us and go ad-free

The UK government has snuck out a sickening plan to “work with” the Saudi butchers in Yemen. The UK is essentially joining the Saudi-led coalition in its assault on the impoverished, brutalised country as the UN warns that 10 million more people in Yemen could be on the brink of famine by the end of the year.

So the UK is joining forces with a country largely responsible for the possible starvation of 18.4 million people.


Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon put out a written statement on 23 May. In it, he relayed a statement by foreign secretary Boris Johnson. The focus of the foreign secretary’s statement was Yemen. In particular, he detailed the ‘threat’ posed to Saudi Arabia by the Houthis – rebel forces in northern Yemen. Johnson wrote:

Saudi Arabia continues to be the subject of regular missile attacks from the Houthis in Yemen.

Johnson also reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to Saudi Arabia’s “security needs”. And he said it is in the UK’s “national interest” to stop the Houthi attacks. To that end, he revealed:

The UK has now agreed to work with the Saudis to mitigate the threat from these missiles. This will involve UK personnel providing information, advice and assistance limited to this particular objective.

A number of countries have ‘worked with’ Saudi Arabia in its assault on Yemen. As such, they’re considered part of the Saudi-led coalition. But Johnson clearly doesn’t want the UK to be put in that same category. Because he went on to say:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

To be clear, the UK is not a member of the Saudi-Led Coalition. We do not have any role in setting Coalition policy, or in executing air strikes. All UK military personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and control.

Being in the Saudi-led coalition means that the responsibility for the actions of the coalition, including Saudi Arabia’s, lands at your door.

At risk

Following the UK’s quiet announcement, the United Nations (UN) also put out a statement on Yemen. Mark Lowcock, under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, made a shocking prediction about the country:

More than 22 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance or protection. Some 8.4 million people are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation. If conditions do not improve, a further 10 million people will fall into this category by the end of the year.

Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the world before the conflict began. And since 2015, when Saudi Arabia started its brutal military campaign in the country (after the Houthis overthrew Yemen’s ‘president‘ in 2014), that poverty has grown exponentially worse.

Meanwhile, the conflict has claimed thousands of lives and contributed to almost half a million [pdf] children being robbed of their education.


The UK government has regularly come under fire for its extensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in light of the Yemen assault. But it has faced no real consequences for doing so, either at the ballot box or in the courts.

The government appears to feel emboldened by the fact that it’s got away with its role in, well, murder. So much so that it’s now embedded itself deeper in the conflict by announcing it will “work with” the Saudis regarding the ‘missile threat’ from Yemen.

This revelation is, however, likely to bolster further legal action against the government. Let’s hope so. And let’s pray it inflames people enough to take action at the ballot box too.

Get Involved!

Take action with Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Support the Stop the War Coalition.

Featured image via RT UK – YouTube and Jim Mattis – Wikimedia

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed