Former senior minister Andrew Mitchell tells MEE the UK must press Riyadh over Yemen bombardment ahead of bin Salman visit
LONDON – A former Conservative cabinet minister has said that Saudi Arabia faces “certain defeat” and humiliation in Yemen and has called on Theresa May to use the upcoming visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to pressure the kingdom to halt its bombardment of the country.
In an interview with Middle East Eye, the former secretary for international development Andrew Mitchell said it was now clear Saudi Arabia would “not win a war from the air” and warned that the “human misery and heartache” in Yemen would continue unless UK and international pressure was used to force Saudi Arabia to return to the negotiating table.
A Saudi-led coalition has conducted bombing missions in Yemen since 2015 with arms and military support from the US, UK and other countries. At least 10,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict, though the true death toll is potentially far higher as few organisations on the ground have the resources to count the dead.
“Saudi Arabia will not win a war from the air and the certainty of its defeat is underlined by the small scale of the Saudi forces on the ground in Yemen,” Mitchell said.
“The current situation will lead to its humiliation in respect to Yemen, but also in relations to the wider region and with Iran.”