Secret deployment of British troops to Saudi oil fieldsa According to the British daily newspaper “The Independent” on Friday, British forces were secretly deployed to protect the oil fields in Saudi Arabia.
According to The Independent, the British government made the decision without consulting the House of Commons, and no public announcement was made.
The oil fields are economic infrastructure and our agents have been deployed there to protect them from drone strikes, the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
An unnamed spokesperson for the U.K. Ministry of Defense told The Independent, referring to the Sept. 14, 2019, attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, “We have been working with the Ministry of Defense and a range of international partners to identify how to strengthen the defense of this important economic infrastructure against airstrikes.”
He acknowledged the British move to deploy an advanced radar system has led to the identification of drone attacks in the country. However, he declined to comment on the timing or number of troops involved in the operation. The spokesman also did not comment on why the decision was not communicated to Parliament.
Meanwhile, James Heappey, the U.K.’s deputy defense secretary, confirmed the move in a separate letter, saying the deployment of those forces in Saudi Arabia has cost the U.K. 840,360 euros so far and is ongoing.
Leila Moran, foreign affairs spokeswoman for the British Liberal Democrat Party, also said the report of the secret deployment of our agents in Saudi Arabia was shocking.
Speaking to The Independent, Moran added: “London is not only selling arms to Saudi Arabia to use against the Yemeni people, but is also deploying forces to protect Saudi oil fields against possible attacks.” This, he said, shows the depth of the government’s lack of morality.”
London Also Criticizes U.S. Sanctions Against ICC Staff
In a rare move, the British Foreign Secretary has criticized U.S. sanctions against The Hague Tribunal, saying: “Britain strongly supports The Hague.”
Dominic Raab announced Saturday (yesterday) that as a legal entity, the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC) must be allowed to conduct its own investigations into international criminal activity impartially and without fear of punishment.
Rob also said Britain strongly supports the ICC in its investigations of the worst international crimes.
EU foreign affairs envoy Josep Borrell also on Thursday condemned the U.S. decision and expressed concern about sanctions against employees of the court.
Borrell stressed that the International Criminal Court is a key factor for the realization of justice and peace , adding that all countries must respect and support the tribunal.
U.S. President Trump had on Thursday approved sanctions against staff members of the International Criminal Court in The Hague who are investigating alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. According to the order, the employees face economic sanctions and bans on entering the United States. The executive order also allows the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Treasury Secretary, to block the assets of a number of ICC employees involved in the U.S. military’s war crimes investigation in Afghanistan.
According to the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, there is evidence that Americans tortured, abused, and raped detainees.
by Xavier Cuesta – European Correspondent – Independent