The European Parliament called on the European Union to impose an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia on Thursday, saying Britain, France and other EU governments should no longer sell weapons to a country accused of targeting civilians in Yemen. EU lawmakers, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of an embargo, said Britain had licensed more than $3 billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia since Saudi-led forces began military operations in Yemen in March last year.
Nearly 6,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict, almost half of them civilians, according to the United Nations, and the European Parliament said it was acting on humanitarian grounds. EU lawmakers warned the vote may prompt retaliation from Saudi Arabia, whose envoy to the European Union held several meetings with EU lawmakers and tried to dissuade the parliament.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.