British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that British-made cluster bombs were used by Britain’s theocratic ally Saudi Arabia in its war against the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen.
Fallon addressed the controversial findings of the British government’s own inquiries in the House of Commons Monday, saying that while the UK has not supplied such weapons to Saudi Arabia since 1989, there were British-made cluster mutations dropped in Yemen during the conflict.
“That investigation has now concluded. The coalition confirmed earlier today that a limited number of BL-755 cluster munitions exported from the United Kingdom in the 1980s were dropped in Yemen, including in the incident alleged by Amnesty International not far from the Saudi border by a coalition aircraft,” said Fallon.
Also on Monday, the Saudi-led Arab coalition said that after 20 months of war it will stop its use of British-made cluster munitions in Yemen.
“The government of Saudi Arabia confirms that it has decided to stop the use of cluster munitions of the type BL-755 and informed the United Kingdom government of that,” said the Saudi statement, carried by state news agency SPA.
The new details have emerged through a leak to the Guardian from sources which claim that internal investigations support claims in the media that the outlawed munitions are in use.
The source said that the findings had been known by the government for up to a month.