• August 3, 2019

One of the things the RAF were anxious to reassure us in the recent correspondence to the League was that they don’t train the Saudis of their allies on operation of ‘command and control’ facilities. The reason to put it bluntly is that the Saudis are to incompentent to operate the systems so the RAF and BAE do it for them.

As an article in the UK Guardian newspaper last month put it:

“The British government has deployed RAF personnel to work as engineers, and to train Saudi pilots and targeteers – while an even larger role is played by BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest arms company, which the government has subcontracted to provide weapons, maintenance and engineers inside Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudi bosses absolutely depend on BAE Systems,” John Deverell, a former MoD mandarin and defence attache to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, told me. “They couldn’t do it without us.” A BAE employee recently put it more plainly to Channel 4’s Dispatches: “If we weren’t there, in seven to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”

Link to full article:


Of course it’s hard to underscore the BAE role and that of its ghastly factory in Warton Lancs whose work force ought to be ashamed of themselves. Warton is of course part of the ‘axis of evil’ with Ronaldsway and RAF Valley. BAE were once famously denied a licence to kill hundreds of black-backed gulls interfering with the airfield at Warton where they test the deadly Typhoon and Hawk hardware that the Saudis use to indiscriminately kill men women and children in Yemen. There is a tragic irony about that!

In the past few years many countries including eight significant European States have decided not to assist the Saudi War Crimes which these days leaves the UK and the USA as the main props to the corrupt regime.

Even a tenuous link to war crimes is a bad thing and that’s why the Manx government decision to stay ‘in bed’ with the Saudi war criminals is so reprehensible indeed evil.

The Saudi air campaign bombarding Yemen has killed tens of thousands, injured hundreds of thousands and displacing millions. It has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the Guardian article put it:

“Every day Yemen is hit by British bombs – dropped by British planes that are flown by British-trained pilots and maintained and prepared inside Saudi Arabia by thousands of British contractors.

The Saudi-led military coalition, which includes the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, has “targeted civilians … in a widespread and systematic manner”, according to the UN – dropping bombs on hospitals, schools, weddings, funerals and even camps for displaced people fleeing the bombing.”

Image: Warton aerodrome at the BAE works the hanger signage shows they have no sense of irony – inset RAF letter to Celtic League.

Bernard Moffatt
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League

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