Aug 29, 2017 14:49 UTC
  • A UK Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules
    A UK Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules

The government of UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been caught selling used military aircraft to Bahrain and other countries it officially categorizes as human rights violators.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sold at least two former Royal Air Force (RAF) C-130J Hercules transport aircraft from under a government-to-government deal worth up to £30 million.

The aircraft, capable of tactical operations, parachute insertions and the air dropping cargo, are likely to be dispatched to Saudi Arabia as part of Bahrain’s contributions to the Riyadh regime’s brutal military aggression against Yemen.

“Bahrain has sent F-16 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to support Yemen operations, so I think that’s how these C-130s will be used, as well as hunting safaris for the King,” an aviation source with knowledge of the sale told the British news outlet.

Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the Campaign Against Arms Trade, said the deal was an “unequivocal statement of political and military support for the Bahraini regime.”

“If these aircraft are used to aid the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen then it can only intensify the humanitarian crisis,” he argued.

The UK has also been providing the Manama regime’s security forces with training and intelligence in its heavy-handed crackdown on a years-long popular uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah family.

Besides Bahrain, May’s government has inked major military deals with other repressive regimes in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia itself.