Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

In the Gulf, meanwhile, it was disclosed that British military personnel

were sitting in the control rooms from which the Saudi Arabian air force

was guiding its bombers on to targets across Yemen. The British were

helping their Saudi counterparts key in the codes that would help them

select and attack their targets. The Saudis were not only flying Britishbuilt

aircraft and dropping British-made bombs, they were dropping

vast numbers of them. Over a three-month period in 2015, the value of

exports of British-made bombs and missiles had increased by 11,000%,

from £9m to £1bn.


This bombing campaign has been heavily criticised by rights groups

for causing thousands of civilian deaths. In parliament, the British

government has had little to say about this, other than to insist that it

“obeys the norms of humanitarian law”.

Once again, the government appeared to be quietly pulling the country

into a Middle Eastern conflict without any parliamentary oversight or

approval. And covert, undeclared and unreported warfare could be seen

to be not merely a possibility, but the reality of many of the UK’s military


This piece is an edited extract from Ian Cobain’s study of official secrecy

in the UK, The History Thieves (Granta, £20). To order a copy for £16, go

to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over

£10, online orders only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99.


Artwork: still unknown

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