Paris has lied about Yemen’s arms – survey

Yemen
File AFP

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Contrary to the assertions of the French Ministers of Armies and Foreign Affairs, Florence Parly and Jean-Yves Le Drian respectively, French weapons are actually used in the war in Yemen and are constantly victims, reveals a report, classified “confidential Defense”, revealed by Disclose after a long investigation.

The revelations made by the nonprofit investigative media Disclose, with its partner, the investigation unit of Radio France, detailed the involvement of many French-made weapons used by Saudi Arabia in the war coalition in Yemen.

This information, based on the report classified “confidential Defense” of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM), completely contradict the statements made recently by the French authorities, including Florence Parly and Jean-Yves Le Drian, who had estimated no have no knowledge of the use of French weapons in Yemen.

It is stated that the leaked document, dated September 25, 2018, is entitled “Yemen – Security Situation” and that it was transmitted to Emmanuel Macron and the French Ministers of Armies and Foreign Affairs during the meeting. limited defense dedicated to the war in Yemen held on October 3, 2018, at the Elysee Palace.

Thus, the file presents the list of French weapons that were sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including Caesar guns, Leclerc tanks, arrow shells, Mirage 2000-9, Cobra radars, armored vehicles. Aravis, Cougar and Dauphin helicopters, the Makkah class frigate or a Baynunah-class missile corvette. According to the DRM note, the “population affected by possible artillery strikes” is “436,370 persons”.

Land Weapons

Referring to the International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm (Sipri), which specializes in arms transfers, since 2010, France has delivered to Saudi Arabia 132 Caesar guns, which are manufactured in Roanne ( Loire) by Nexter, a company wholly owned by the French State”. Currently, 48 guns of this type are deployed along the Saudi-Yemeni border and “bomb Yemen to clear the ground for armored tanks and tanks that invade the country,” says Disclose.

And to add that other deliveries are planned in the coming months. This contradicts the words of Florence Parly who, in January 2019, told France Inter that France has “recently sold no weapon that can be used in the context of the Yemeni conflict” and that it does not have negotiations with Saudi Arabia”.

Disclose also the statements made last July by the Minister of Armies. Thus, in front of the deputies of the Defense Committee of the National Assembly, she announced that to his “knowledge, the land equipment sold to Saudi Arabia are used not for offensive purposes, but for defensive purposes to the border with Saudi Arabia”. In the course of this inquiry, Disclose contacted the services of the Prime Minister who only reaffirmed this position.

However, the DRM note indicates that 70 Leclerc battle tanks, sold in the United Arab Emirates, are mobilized in the conflict. It also defines four areas of Yemen where these French tanks are deployed. Although they are “never seen in the front line,” these tanks “are nonetheless deployed on the Al-Khawkhah right-of-way, 115 kilometers from Al Hodeida.” According to satellite images, the Leclerc tanks “took part in several major offensives of the coalition” which caused casualties.

Air attacks

The report also highlights the French involvement in Saudi Arabia’s airborne attacks, namely “the most lethal”. The statements of Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to which France provides “nothing to the Saudi air force” are thus qualified as false by Disclose. By way of proof, the media mentions that “Saudi fighter planes are equipped with a technological jewel designed and maintained by French engineers: the Damocles pod”.

Referring to the Yemen Data project, Disclose refers to 8,300 dead in Saudi air raids since 2015. And to add that “French fighters operate in Yemen from the Emirati military base of Assab, Eritrea.” Other French equipment supplied to Saudi Arabia includes the Cougar, a combat helicopter, and the wide-body Airbus A330 MRTT.

At sea

One last point on which comes Disclose includes French warships, used in this same war. The media again denies the words of Florence Parly, who said that the lifting of the blockade of Emirati and Saudi vessels in the port of Al-Hodeidah was “a French priority” so that “humanitarian aid can pass”. Thus, according to the DRM, two French-made ships “participate in the naval blockade” which starves several million Yemenis.

These are two French corvettes Gowind 2500 acquired in 2017 by the United Arab Emirates. As Emmanuel Macron announced at the time, “this contract has just consolidated our relationship in naval matters and complete a very strong cooperation in recent years on all weapons”.

Remember, that since 2014, France is a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which urges the French government to “not authorize any transfer of weapons” if they could be used to commit “attacks against civilians or civilian objects […] or other war crimes”.

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