Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2015-11-18.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, FCO, Tobias Ellwood MP on 20 July (HC6867), what assessment they have made of the legality of coalition airstrikes in Yemen, and to what extent that assessment differs from those produced by Human Rights Watch.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

The UK supports the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition military intervention in Yemen, which came at the request of legitimate President Hadi to the UN Security Council, the Gulf Co-operation Council, and the Arab League for support by ‘all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter Houthi aggression’. We are aware of reports, including from Human Rights Watch, of alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law by the Coalition. We have received repeated assurances from the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that they are complying with International Humanitarian Law and we continue to engage with them on those assurances. The Saudi Arabian authorities have their own internal procedures for investigations and we encourage them to be open and transparent in this. We have also raised our concerns with the Houthis on the importance of compliance with International Humanitarian Law and international human rights law.