A banned, British-made cluster bomb was used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
Amnesty International have claimed that a banned, British made cluster bomb has been used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, warning that civilians returning home risked injury and death from unexploded bomblets, the small munitions contained within cluster bombs.
Amnesty said this was the first confirmed use of a British-manufactured cluster munitions since the adoption of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster bombs.
Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly used the BL-755 cluster bomb in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and Yemeni civil war.
A UK Government spokesman said:
“The UK Government takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application. The Government is satisfied that extant licences for Saudi Arabia are compliant with this export licensing criteria.
The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. British personnel are not involved in carrying out strikes, directing or conducting operations in Yemen or selecting targets and are not involved in the Saudi targeting decision-making process.”
The BL-755 bomb was developed in the early 1970’s by Hunting Engineering, Ltd. of Ampthill, Bedfordshire. A single BL-755 contains 147 submunitions, known as bomblets. Each bomblet contains a High Explosive Anti Tank warhead, which produces thousands of anti-personnel fragments upon detonation.