Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been met with protests in London, as he arrived for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“Hands off Yemen” was the rallying cry, targeting Saudi Arabia's brutal bombardment and blockade on Yemen. The war has been made possible in large part by the regular sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia from the United Kingdom and the United States.
“The overwhelming majority of people in the U.K. do not share Theresa May's political and military support for the Saudi regime,” Andrew Smith of Campaign Against the Arms Trade said according to The Independent.
The Saudi foreign minister, Adel Al Jubeir, has responded to the massive protests, claiming they are based on a “misunderstanding” of his country's military aggression against Yemen, the poorest Arab country. “They criticize us for a war in Yemen that we did not want, that was imposed on us, that is a just war,” he said.
“They should be demonstrating against the Houthis,” Al Jubeir added referring to the Yemeni resistance movement that has been fighting against Saudi Arabia.
Yemen has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis by the consistent destruction of critical civilian infrastructures, such as hospitals and ports, and an ongoing blockade since 2015. Over 8.4 million are at risk of famine, and diseases such as cholera have become rampant. The United Nations has repeatedly called for humanitarian aid and an easing of the blockade, to little avail.
Saudi Arabia-led forces backed with U.S. and U.K. intelligence and weaponry began its military intervention to re-install pro-Saudi president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was deposed by the Houthis.