Leaked report details Saudi use of French weapons in Yemen

A large truck painted in camouflage patterns with a large cannon on top, driving over sand
A CAESAR truck mounted howitzer. Photo: Daniel Steger/Wikipedia, CC1.0

French NGO “Disclose” has released details of the use of French weapons by the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen, using leaked documents. Disclose has been given access to a 15-page official report from the French military intelligence agency, the DRM. The report is called “Yémen - situation sécuritaire” (“Yemen – security situation”) and was submitted to French President Emmanuel Macron and his defence minister Florence Parly in October 2018. According to Disclose is illustrated with maps and graphics, and reveals a list of French weapons being used by the Saudi military in the war in Yemen, including:

  • Leclerc battle tanks,
  • long-rod penetrator ammunition,
  • Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets,
  • COBRA counter-battery radar systems,
  • Aravis armoured troop-carrying vehicles,
  • Cougar and Dauphin helicopters,
  • and CAESAR truck-mounted howitzers

Disclose have compiled the information into a new website called “Made in France”, which illustrates the material in the report using maps, graphics, videos, and text, including details of how some of the weapons may have been used against civilians. For example, 132 French CAESAR howitzer cannons have been sold by France to Saudi Arabia since 2010, and the report illustrates how 48 of these powerful weapons are positioned close to the Saudi-Yemeni border and used to “back up loyalist troops and Saudi armed forces in their progression into Yemeni territory” which includes towns, villages, farms and hamlets. The website discloses that data from NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) shows that a total of 35 civilians were killed between 2016 and 2018 in the area within range of the CAESAR's.

The website similarly details the use of other French weapons systems sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and their impacts of civilians, using satellite images and data from other NGOs to fact check claims by media outlets in Yemen. The French government has repeatedly denied responsibility for civilian casualties; in 2019, the French foreign affairs minister claimed “We supply nothing to the Saudi air force”, but the report discloses details of Saudi aircraft equipped with the “Damoclès” high performance targetting pod, which allows pilots to guide missiles onto a target.

You can see the full “Made in France” website here: https://made-in-france.disclose.ngo

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