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Yemen: Military Intervention

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 58670, tabled on 6 January 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Government will publish the findings on which its assessment of alleged violations of international humanitarian law by airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is based.

Answered on

16 January 2017

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) monitors and analyses incidents of alleged International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violations using available information which in turn is used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to form an overall view on the approach and attitude of Saudi Arabia to IHL. The FCO is not acting to determine whether a sovereign state has or has not acted in breach of IHL, but instead as Criterion 2(c) requires – acting to make an overall judgement.

It is important to make clear that neither the MOD nor the FCO reaches a conclusion as to whether or not an IHL violation has taken place in relation to each and every incident of potential concern that comes to its attention. This would simply not be possible in conflicts to which the UK is not a party, as is the case in Yemen.