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UK firms make huge profits on arm sales to Saudi Arabia


British companies selling weapons have earned hundreds of millions of dollars by selling arms to Saudi Arabia during the ongoing war in Yemen. New estimates released by the children’s charity War Child reveal that since the Saudi-led coalition began its intervention in Yemen, UK weapons companies including BAE systems and Raytheon have earned revenues exceeding $8bn from dealings with Saudi Arabia, generating profits estimated at almost $775m. A Saudi-led military coalition was formed in March 2015 to support Yemen’s internationally recognised government in fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and has injured more than 40,000 to date, according to the United Nations. In the past three years, the UK has approved arms export licences to Saudi Arabia worth $4.7bn, including the Tornado aircraft, which is partially manufactured by BAE systems, vehicles and tanks, including BAE’s Tactica armoured vehicles valued at $580,000 and $1.48bn worth of grenades missiles and bombs.

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