‘Serious’ questions over SAS involvement in Yemen war

Minister promises to investigate report of firefight involving British personnel as claims swirl about child soldiers in Saudi-led force

Soldiers with a military coalition in Yemen backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand guard at a grain facility in the port city of Hodeida on 22 January 2019.
Soldiers with a military coalition in Yemen backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand guard at a grain facility in the port city of Hodeida on 22 January 2019. Photograph: Saleh Al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images

The foreign office minister Mark Field has promised to get to the bottom of “very serious and well sourced” allegations that British SAS soldiers have been injured in a firefight with Houthi rebel soldiers in Yemen.

He was answering an urgent question asked in the Commons on Tuesday by the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, who suggested the Britons may have been witnesses to war crimes, if weekend allegations were true that UK special forces were training child soldiers in the Saudi-led coalition.

She claimed as many as 40% of the soldiers in the Saudi coalition were children, a breach of international humanitarian law.

Field said he would be making inquiries with the Ministry of Defence in light of the report.

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