On Monday, Saudi fighter jets bombed a civilian vehicle in North Yemen, killing all 13 occupants, including four children. The Saudi-Emirates-coalition is silent about the incident. Such massacres have been on the agenda for over five years of the Yemeni war – and Germany, with its continued supply of weapons, is one of the greatest accomplices of these crimes. The 2019 arms export report published yesterday shows that last year the federal government approved more than 8 billion arms to 131 countries than it had not approved in at least 25 years. More than 1.2 billion went to the eight countries of the anti-Yemen coalition alone.
On Monday, Saudi fighter jets flew two airstrikes on a civilian vehicle in Yemen, killing all 13 occupants, Dr. Yousef Alhadri, spokesman for the Houthi-led health ministry, said in a statement to the reflection pages. So far, the Saudi-Emirates coalition has not commented on this. The air strike occurred on a highway in the Shada District of the Sa’da governorate in northern Yemen in the border area with Saudi Arabia. Several tribal leaders confirmed the attacks to The Associated Press, as well as two local rescue workers to the Chinese Xinhua News, who continued to say that the dead fruit farmers were on their way home.
“The list of shame”
“The Ministry of Health condemns the perpetrators of this crime, which is part of a long list of crimes committed by the Saudi-American Coalition in the eyes of the international community … were committed, " continued the statement of the Houthi Ministry spokesman.
Pure cynicism: on the same day that the four innocent children were killed, the UN removed the Saudi-Emirates coalition from its list of those responsible for war crimes against children, the so-called “list of shame”, even though the coalition has killed or seriously injured 222 children in the last year alone and the five-year bombing is above all a war against Yemen’s children, as I have shown elsewhere. Saudi petrodollars and a powerful friend in the White House prevent the public denouncing of crimes against children, sanctions mechanisms become a Farce – just another example of the need to reform the UN from the ground up.
Complicity of the West
Monday’s attack took place in the SA’da governorate, the stronghold of the Houthi rebels, whose insurgency the war coalition has been trying to crush since March 2015 and recapture the Houthis-held areas of the country. In the capital Sana’a, the Saudi puppet Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi is to be brought back to power. In total, more than 112,000 people have been killed by gun violence in Yemen, but the Saudi-Emirates coalition is also deliberately using Hunger and epidemics as weapons of war to break the resistance of the population: by far the largest cholera epidemic ever recorded in the world is raging and the UN sees Yemen on the verge of the world’s “worst famine in 100 years”. If these secondary phenomena are included, the actual number of victims of the war rises to a quarter of a million.
Massacres of the civilian population by the Saudi-Emirates coalition have always been on the agenda: time and again schools, weddings, funerals, marketplaces, refugee boats, hospitals and mosques were deliberately bombed. In total, the coalition has flown 21,259 airstrikes against Yemen in over five years – an average of over 11 attacks per day. Since the coalition forces – except for Egypt – have only rudimentary arms industries of their own, they are dependent on the complicity of predominantly Western arms exporters in committing their war crimes. After the USA, France, Russia and Great Britain, Germany is in fifth place among the main exporters to the eight coalition countries in the years of the war.
Germany continues to deliver
Yesterday, the federal government presented the official Arms Export Report for 2019. This shows that last year the Merkel government exported a total of 8.02 billion euros in arms to 131 countries (!), which corresponds to an increase of a whopping 66 percent compared to the previous year 2018 (4.82 billion euros) and represents the highest value in at least 25 years. Export permits to EU partners rose by more than two to 3.14 billion euros last year, while those to NATO countries and NATO-like countries rose only slightly to a value of 1.34 billion euros. The increase of more than one billion to third countries, which received permits worth 3.53 billion euros, is remarkable.
The latest figures show that Berlin has once again sold weapons systems to all eight countries of the anti-Yemen coalition in 2019-in flagrant violation of the self – imposed GroKo stipulations: the infamous sentence in the coalition agreement, “not to authorize exports to countries as long as they are directly involved in the war in Yemen.” In 2019, eight countries (Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates) were approved for a total arms sales worth 1.24 billion euros. In the previous year 2018, arms were sold “only” in the amount of 605 million euros – in 2019 Berlin more than doubled this value.
Authorized arms exports of the federal government to the anti-Yemen coalition 2019 (in euros):
|United Arab Emirates||256.866.626|
Egypt, which received 802 million euros, among other things, missiles and missile parts, is the leader of the group of all developing countries: three out of five approved arms sales to developing countries went to the military dictatorship of the putschist Al-Sisi. With more than 206 million euros, the Emirates are in second place among the countries of the anti-Yemen coalition, and new exports have also been approved to Saudi Arabia, although a complete export ban extended to the end of 2020 is actually in force against the kingdom.
And in 2020 there were already the first confirmed arms sales to the coalition, as shown by the BMWi’s response to a question from left-wing politician Sevim Dağdelen in April. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, exports worth more than 290 million euros were approved to Egypt, whose navy can look forward to a new S43 submarine with eight torpedo tubes from ThyssenKrupp. Pakistan – which is an unofficial member of the coalition-receives a new fighter jet from Germany. No less problematic are new permits for ammunition from Rheinmetall worth 179 million euros to Qatar, which was part of the anti-Yemen coalition until 2017, and for four warships to Israel, which the coalition logistically supports, for example, by training Colombian mercenaries who are fighting for the coalition on the front lines in Yemen.
In the five years of the Yemeni war, the federal government authorized a total of more than 6.4 billion euros in arms exports to the eight coalition partners. If deliveries to the unofficial members Pakistan and Senegal as well as the also active warring parties USA and Great Britain are included, this value even doubles to more than 12.6 billion euros (previously unpublished calculations of the author from the corresponding arms export reports of the federal government). Permits to only these twelve states account for more than 37 percent of all German arms exports: the Yemeni war is – the cynicism is forgiven at this point – a real “bomb business” for the German arms industry.
In all likelihood, the bloody air strike by the Saudis on Monday was carried out by either Tornado or Eurofighter fighter jets - in both European joint projects, Germany is significantly involved in production. Once again, it was German engineering that brought death to 13 innocent children, women and men.