The involvement of France in war crimes against Yemen: Orient XXI

The French newspaper, Orient XXI, published an investigation in which it talked about the involvement of major French companies in killing children in Yemen. These companies are taking advantage of the war with the support of the French state, which is the most important arms supplier after the United States to the Saudi-Emirati coalition that has been involved in the war on Yemen since 2015, according to the newspaper.

The investigation revealed that, in 2019 alone, the French state gave the green light to 47 contracts to export ammunition to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to torpedoes, missiles, guided missiles and other arms, with a total value of 1 billion euros to Saudi Arabia and 3.5 billion euros to the United Arab Emirates.

In 2020, these licenses increased by 40% for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and 25% for the UAE.

The investigation confirmed that 3 major French companies and their contractors were involved in a conflict that killed 110,000 people in 7 years, including more than 13,000 civilians, namely the “Thales Group”, which supplies combat aircraft and delivers ammunition. The other two are the French-British missile manufacturer “MBDA”, and “Dassault Aviation”, which maintains Mirage 2000 aircraft and has won record contracts with Emirates.

Since the start of the military intervention of the Saudi-led coalition against the Yemenis in March 2015, the French government has been trying to “deny its involvement.”

In January 2019, the former Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, told the most important national radio: “We have not recently sold any weapons that can be used in the Yemeni conflict.”

The minister claimed that the handed-over equipment is only used to “ensure the protection of Saudi territory from ballistic attacks from Yemen.”

A few months later, on April 15, 2019, an investigation by the “Disclose” website published an article under the title “Made in France” that contracted the statement of former minister Parly, and was based on a report issued by the Military Intelligence Directorate.

Not only did French planes, helicopters, tanks and artillery have participated in the coalition attacks in Yemen, but these weapons were used to target civilian areas, according to the investigation.

The investigation stated that the French government has so far refused to disclose the details of the weapons that have already been delivered to each foreign country.

However, its public reports submitted each year to Parliament highlight the importance of trade with two of the largest arms importers in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are respectively the third and fifth largest customers of French arms.

These reports tell us that between 2015 and 2021, France delivered military equipment, munitions, and maintenance services of about 9 billion euros to these two countries, which lead the coalition against the Yemenis.

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