Saudi air force pilots are being allowed to conduct “air-to-ground training sorties” in Britain, Declassified has found.
Video recordings of the bombing sorties are being withheld by the RAF, which refuses to release the footage in case it upsets diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.
An oil-rich dictatorship, Saudi Arabia is one of the UK’s closest military allies. The RAF is providing support to the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
British officials felt the footage was so sensitive that they decided it was not in the public interest to disclose the tapes.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in response to a freedom of information request by Declassified that disclosure would reveal the “effectiveness and capability” of Saudi pilots, as the videos show “the impact of the air-to-ground attacks, such as how much damage they can initiate”.
Details about the types of missiles used, the Battle Damage Assessment and Collateral Damage Estimation are also being withheld.
The MOD even “requested the consent” of the Saudi air force “about releasing information on RSAF pilots” but declined Declassified’s request before the Saudis had “provided their views on the matter.”Revealed: Censored Videos Show Saudi Pilots Bombing Britain