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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 105325, tabled on 19 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to her written statement on Trade Update, Official Report, cols 32-34WS, what the different circumstances and reasons were for the Saudi-led coalition's (a) 2016 air strike on the Al-Wehdah school and (b) repeated air strikes on schools in Taez in Yemen over the past five years which led her to conclude that these were isolated incidents not constituting a pattern of violations of international humanitarian law.

Answered on

22 October 2020

As part of the overall assessment under Criterion 2c, we have considered whether there were any patterns or trends across past incidents. In considering whether there are patterns or trends arising from those incidents that are assessed to be possible violations of IHL, particular consideration is given to whether there are similarities in the factual nature of the incidents, the reasons/explanations for them and the timescale in which they occurred. The conclusion was that these incidents did not indicate patterns of non-compliance or systemic weaknesses.

The assessment of whether it is ‘possible’ that an incident constituted a breach of international humanitarian law uses all available sources of information, including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive. Accordingly, we are unable to go into the details of individual assessments.

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