Rights Groups Slam US Arms Sales to UAE amid Yemen Crisis

Rights Groups Slam US Arms Sales to UAE amid Yemen Crisis

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations signed a letter opposing the sale of $23 billion worth of missiles, fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates amid the ongoing Saudi-led war against Yemen.

“The hope is to stop these sales altogether,” said Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy, who spearheaded the effort.

“But if that is not possible in the short term, this sends an important signal to the incoming Biden administration that there is a diverse group of organizations that oppose delivery of these weapons.”

Three US senators earlier this month proposed legislation to halt the sale, which includes drones from privately held General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s and missiles made by Raytheon, setting up a showdown with President Donald Trump weeks before he is due to leave office.

The letter from the rights groups, sent to lawmakers and the State Department, said the planned arms sale would fuel continued harm to civilians and exacerbate humanitarian crises due to conflicts in Yemen and Libya.

Signatories include human rights organizations from the region, including the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Mwatana for Human Rights.

The United Arab Emirates is a key party to the Saudi war on Yemen that was launched to bring a former Riyadh-friendly government back to power.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) estimates that the Saudi war has claimed more than 100,000 lives in Yemen since 2015.

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