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American weapons ended up in the wrong hands in Yemen. They are now targeting the US-backed government



New evidence shows that military hardware that was shipped to US allies was distributed in violation of arms deals to militia groups, including separatists backed by the UAE. They are now using it to counter the Saudi-backed forces of the internationally recognized government, which are also armed with US weapons.

These new findings follow an exclusive CNN investigation in February that traces US-made equipment sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The weapons were handed over to non-state fighters on the ground in Yemen, including al-Qaeda fighters, alleged Salafi militias and Iran-backed Houthi rebels, according to a report in violation of the law on arms sales.

Following CNN's initial reporting, the Pentagon has stated that it has launched its own investigation into the unauthorized transfer of US weapons to Yemen. But for more than half a year, the situation on the ground only seems to have got worse.

Saudi Arabia leads a coalition, in close partnership with the UAE and including various militia groups, to fight Iran-backed rebel rebels in Yemen since 2015. But after a clear split with its Saudi counterparts, the UAE said in July that it is reducing its strength in the country, and the fight escalates between separatists and government forces on the ground in August. The UAE has since thrown its support behind the separatist movement.
This month, the separatists said they had taken control of the strategic port city of Aden after days of fighting with government forces. A few weeks later, the Yemeni government accused the UAE of carrying out a series of air strikes that killed dozens of its troops – but the UAE said it was targeting terrorist militias.

Saudi-backed forces are once again in control of Aden and talks are underway to end the power struggle over the city, news agencies reported.

As the conflict escalates in southern Yemen, ISIS seizes the opportunity to re-emerge there. He claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Aden in August, the first in more than a year, and a worrying sign that the conflict is creating a vacuum for extremists to flourish.

US lawmakers reacted indignantly to new CNN findings. One of them, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a frontrunner who became the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, said: "A report on US military equipment falling into the hands of our enemies is alarming. Two reports are deeply disturbing."

Warren said he intended to continue the findings with the Trump administration, adding: "The Defense and State Departments have not yet answered the questions I asked in February and I intend to follow up."

Termination of Arms Agreements

Working with local journalists, CNN managed to capture several ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles used by separatist militia groups led by the Southern Transitional Council (STC). ).

One was the BAE Caiman used by the separatists in the Battle of Shabwa, South Yemen, against government forces in August.

Like many other weapons that CNN identifies, it can be traced back to a $ 2.5 billion arms sales contract. between the US and the UAE in 2014. Like all arms deals, this agreement was bound by an end-user agreement that certifies the recipient – in this case, the UAE – as the end user of the weapon. This evidence shows that this agreement has been breached.

In February, the UAE told CNN that there was no violation of end-use requirements "in any way."

The interior of the vehicle is further proof of its origin. Its air conditioning system has a serial number from the US company Real Time Laboratories, which indicates that the part was manufactured at its Mississippi facility.

Asked if he knew if his technology was in the wrong hands in Yemen, Real Time Laboratories reported to CNN that they had delivered the product to BAE Systems in 2010 under a US government contract, but "could not comment what can the US government ultimately do with this vehicle. "

A spokesman for BAE Systems, which makes the Caiman MRAP vehicle, said the company complies with" all applicable export control laws and regulations in the countries in which we do, "and directed CNN to the Pentagon for an additional com PAH.

In response to new findings from CNN, the Pentagon's spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel. Carla Gleason said in September that a joint investigation by the State Department and the Ministry of Defense for the unauthorized transfer of weapons to Yemen remains "underway."

Driving into Battle

Analyzing social media hours of recent clashes in southern Yemen, CNN has identified numerous cases of use of US MRAP by police groups, many of which are fighting government forces.

One of the most famous is a group known as the Alwiyat al Amalqa or "giant brigade" – mainly salafis, or ultra-conservative Sunnis – a militia backed by the UAE. One of their videos shows a US MaxxPro MRAP vehicle allegedly driven into a convoy to join the separatists' battle against government forces in the south.

  BAE Caiman MRAP car manufactured by the United States, captured by Yemeni army forces from separatist groups in Shabwa, South Yemen. Filmed in September 2019.

The Giants' crew did not respond to CNN's requests for comment. Earlier this year, a senior Emirati official told CNN that the Giants' brigade was "part of the Yemeni forces" and under "direct surveillance" of the UAE. But the brigade has already joined the separatists in their battle against the government.

In response to the latest evidence, an UAE official stated: "There have been no cases where US equipment has been used without the direct supervision of the UAE. Except for four vehicles that were captured by the enemy. "

The Government of Saudi Arabia did not respond to CNN's request for comment on this matter.

Not only was US weapons used directly against US allies in Yemen, but its presence also played on Iranian propaganda in the region. an example of this I saw footage broadcast on a pro-Lebanese channel showing that armored vehicles made by the US were being unloaded in a Yemeni port outside of UAE ships. It turned out that this footage was not recent, but the broadcast showed that the presence of amers

The Pentagon promises

With the spiraling of the conflict and the role of American weapons in its deterioration, it becomes clearer as the humanitarian crisis deepens with each passing day , The Pentagon promised to study how its military hardware ended up in the wrong hands

Speaking in a Senate hearing the day after CNN's initial February report, Gen. Joseph Wotel, then chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), said the military was "taking a closer look at the allegations."

was adamant that the United States "did not allow Saudi Arabia or the Emirates to transfer any of this equipment to other countries on site in Yemen."

In recent months, much effort has been made by US lawmakers to force President Trump to end US financial and military support for the war in Yemen.

  Former Obama administration officials urge Democrats in Congress to hold off war in Yemen ] Senator Chris Murphy authored an amendment to the annual US defense spending bill currently under discussion in Washington to limit support for a Saudi-led coalition until the Secretary of Defense fails to certify that the Saudis, and Emirs they stopped transferring US weapons to third countries in Yemen. This is just one of the last two-party efforts in the US Congress to tackle US military involvement in Yemen. </p>
<p>  Sep. Murphy responded to CNN's latest findings, saying: "For years, US-made weapons have fueled the conflict in Yemen and it is no surprise that they are now in the hands of private militias." </p><div><script async src=

technology and threaten our soldiers. It is also a violation of US end-use agreements governing the sale of our weapons. That's why I insisted and accepted an amendment to the Committee on Budgets that would stop this problem, "Murphy added.

Not only legislators trying to end US support for the war in Yemen. This week, 100 leaders of the Christian faith from 50 states wrote an open letter urging Congress to suspend arms sales and military support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stop what they call the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

Calls for change also come from outside the United States The United Nations has stated that countries that supply arms to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen may be complicit in war crimes.

An expert commission commissioned by the UN recommended that the United States, United Kingdom and France "refrain from providing the arms of the parties to the conflict "because of" the prevailing risk that the parties will use these weapons to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. "

Ryan Brown, Sarah El Sirgani and Wafa Manner contributed to this report.


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