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Amnesty Urges US to Halt MQ-9B Drone Sale to UAE

The international non-profit said the $2.9 billion deal could lead to an increased death toll of Yemeni and Libyan civilians.

The US’ plan to sell 18 MQ-9B drones to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could increase the death toll of Yemeni and Libyan civilians, Amnesty International warned.

“These US drones could be responsible for UAE attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians already bearing the brunt of one of the world’s most devastating humanitarian catastrophes,” said Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA.

Amnesty further said that ground investigations of various sites in Yemen where the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition carried out airstrikes revealed that the munitions used for the strikes were manufactured by US firms.

The organization also alleged that the UAE, through the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, has used armed drones in Libya to break the long-standing UN arms embargo, and has targeted civilian targets including houses, field hospitals, and ambulances.

The international non-profit said the $2.9 billion deal will allow US contractors to sell more arms and ammunition to these countries and fuel more bloodshed in the region.

It appealed to the US to refrain from transferring the weapons to the UAE, or risk being complicit in likely war crimes in the region.

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