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US $1.6 Billion Arms Deal With UAE Will Perpetuate the War-Fest in Yemen.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- The warring factions in Yemen have agreed on the first phase of a withdrawal of forces around the key port of Hodeida.

According to the United Nations, Saudi-backed forces and Ansarullah resistance groups have made "important progress on planning for the redeployment" following talks, but no start date has been given. The pull-out is a critical part of a ceasefire agreed in Sweden in December. And Hodeida is the principal lifeline for two-thirds of Yemen's population, which is on the brink of famine.

Tell that to the United States government, which refuses to end its complicity in Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen, and has just signed deals with the United Arab Emirates worth more than $1.6 billion for Patriot missile launchers from Raytheon - even as the UAE- and Saudi-led coalition's actions in the war on Yemen is under fire by the UN, human rights groups, and international aid agencies.

The new arms deals come days after an Amnesty International investigation further implicated the UAE in war crimes for transferring Western weapons to unaccountable militia groups and terror proxies, thereby deepening the humanitarian crisis and fueling carnage in the war-ravaged country.

As maintained by Patrick Wilcken, arms control and human rights researcher at Amnesty International: "Emirati forces receive billions of dollars' worth of arms from Western states and others, only to siphon them off to militias in Yemen that answer to no-one and are known to be committing war crimes. The ongoing carnage against civilians in Yemen - including at the hands of the Saudi and UAE-led coalition and the militias it backs - should give serious pause to all states supplying arms."

It's a sentiment also shared by the UN Human Rights Council and UNICEF. They are also calling for a stop to the war and all arms transfers to the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition. They have steered the ground offensive in the conflict, which broke out in 2015 and has, by some estimates, killed over 60,000 Yemenis, uprooted millions, and left millions more on the brink of famine.

On that note, American fingerprints are all over the place too. US arms sales and intelligence to Saudi Arabia are still ongoing in the air war, despite new legislation at the Congress hoping to halt US support for the war. This is while the Trump administration officials have brushed off criticism the US and its weapons industry are facing. They make policy and this is not the way forward - at a time when all warring factions in Yemen have signed a ceasefire and pullout agreement that is being monitored by the UN.

At any rate, the new lucrative deals shed light on what is going to happen next to at least some of the weapons the UAE receives from its American partners: The ground war will continue, weapons will be used not only by UAE forces in Yemen, but will also be passed on to completely unaccountable Coalition-allied and Qaeda terrorists, with an open and long record of war crimes and terrorism.

Given the scope of war crimes and breadth of the catastrophe, the United States and its allies in Europe must halt all their weapons sales or risk being complicit in the Saudi-UAE war crimes.

The new arms sale by the US to the UAE is a wake-up call. It will only perpetuate this disastrous conflict which is getting out of hand. Given the shocking number of civilians that have been consistently killed in the war, the time is now for the US and its European allies to end their direct involvement and complicity.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:7YEME
Date:Feb 21, 2019
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