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German double game exposed: technology and weapons made in Germany used in Yemen

(B2) German weapons and technology play far bigger role in Yemen war than overseas officials are letting on, German journalist team reveals

The Frankenthal-class minehunter in the port of Mokha (credit: Stern / *GermanArms)

The GermanArms team (1) — composed (among others) of my excellent colleague Hans Martin Tillack from the magazine Star —, was able to locate various weapons exported from Germany as well as weapons technology in Yemen by analyzing video and satellite images.

A mine hunter seen in Yemen

Thus, a warship built in Germany, of the Frankenthal class, belonging to the United Arab Emirates (2), was seen in 2017 on satellite images in the port of Mokha, the Yemeni port recently conquered by Saudi-led coalition troops. Other German-produced ships could be located in Assab, Eritrea, an important base of operations for the Yemeni maritime blockade.

Vehicles equipped by the German company DND

GermanArms also located Emirati army vehicles in Aden and Al Khawkhah, in southwest Yemen, equipped with the so-called Fewas weapons stations of the German arms company Dynamit Nobel Defense (DND). She also identified a French Leclerc battle tank in an October 2018 video from an Arab news agency, equipped with the additional protection system on the sides, called Clara, also manufactured by DND.

Eurofighter, Tornado and A300 tanker aircraft used

The #GermanArms team also uncovered new indications regarding the use of Eurofighter and Tornado fighter jets and the Airbus A330 MRTT tanker aircraft by the Saudi Air Force. All these aircraft are equipped with important components from Germany.

Caesar howitzers

The team of journalists further analyzed a video from the Sky News Arabia channel filmed in May 2015. We see a Caesar howitzer, manufactured by Nexter, but using a Daimler Unimog chassis. And the geolocation of the site reveals that the howitzer is firing from a location in the Saudi region near Najran, near the border with Yemen.

A certain hypocrisy across the Rhine

« For some of the armaments used, the federal government issued export licenses after the start of the war in Yemen, although, in accordance with the political principles of the federal government, deliveries to countries involved in armed conflicts are canceled » notes the team of #GermanArms. Which marks a certain hypocrisy of the CDU – SPD federal government which claimed to have frozen all exports to this war zone.

I know nothing, I see nothing

The manufacturers concerned emphasize that they have always acted in compliance with the law. As for representatives of the federal government, they have repeatedly stated that they have no information on the use of German weapons technology during the war in Yemen. “ I don't know anything about it », repeated the German Federal Minister of the Economy, Peter Altmaier (CDU), interviewed by Deutsche Welle during the last Munich conference on security.

An informal embargo

If Germany has imposed an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, it is limited in time and is due to expire on March 9, according to the press. Berlin has not, however, imposed a formal ban on arms exports to the United Arab Emirates.

More information this evening (Tuesday February 26, 2019) on the Deutsche Welle and Star tonight and tomorrow.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

  1. La Deutsche Welle, the team Star, the Bayerischer Rundfunk's 'report München', the Dutch research agency Lighthouse Reports and the international investigative network Bellingcat make up the #GermanArms group.
  2. Germany has sold at least two minehunters to the United Arab Emirates: the Frankenthal (ex M1066, renamed M02 Al Murjan) and the Weiden (ex M1060, renamed M01 Al-Hasbah)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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