Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, said four months ago:
“The presence of Saudi military pilots at RAF Valley are a concern whatever the political climate. The catastrophic civil war in Yemen and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi place an unprecedented additional burden on North Wales Police to ensure safety and security.
“The Tory Westminster Government expect North Wales Police to keep the area safe, adding unnecessary complexity but refusing to pay the bill, or even to properly fund the force.
“North Wales Police has a bigger area to cover than most other forces and has had to endure ruthless cuts as a result of Tory austerity. Throwing in the additional strain of having the air force of brutal regime leaves the force stretched beyond their capacity.
“Unless police funding is appropriately increased, the people who will ultimately suffer from these strains will be the people of North Wales.”
Meanwhile the Defence spokesman for Plaid Cymru Jonathan Edwards MP also said that ‘cosying up’ to the Saudi regime was wrong and the UK should reset its ‘moral compass’ on dodgy arms deals with a country which had given ‘strong support for Islamic terrorism’:
“There is nothing new about the UK Government cosying up to the Saudi military. It would appear that enabling pilots from a non NATO member to train over Wales is closely tied to dodgy arms export deals sanctioned by the British Government.
“Following the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as a result of relentless military activity by the Saudi Government, the strong support from the Kingdom for Islamic terrorism and the ruthless murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the British Government must find its moral compass and review its strategic priorities.”
Images: RAF Valley, Jonathan Edwards MP (top right), North Wales Police Commissioner Arfon Jones (bottom right)
Celtic League Military Monitoring