Yemen’s al-Masirah television network on Monday announced the news, citing a joint report by EUobserver, Lighthouse Reports, Arte, and Mediapart.
According to the report, the French majority state-owned DCI Groupe is carrying out artillery training for members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard at a military school in Draguignan, a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, in southeastern France.
It also revealed that Thales Group, a French multinational company, and a French branch of the Swiss-based RUAG are engaged in training the Saudi troops, offering the simulation equipment needed to operate the CAESAR self-propelled howitzers that could potentially target almost half a million people in Yemen.
Al-Masirah further cited a report by Disclose, a media outlet, which revealed that a cargo ship was expected to load munitions for CAESAR howitzers, adding that Paris is set to ship well over 100 CAESARs to Saudi Arabia until 2023.
Manufactured by Nexter Systems, a French government-owned weapons manufacturer, CAESAR is a self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre gun-howitzer that is installed on a 6x6 truck chassis. Some 48 CAESARs were stationed at the border with Yemen by the Saudi Arabian army in late 2018.
The report also cited a leaked internal document from the DRM, France's military intelligence agency, which warned of the risks against civilians in Yemen posed by the CAESARs.
“The population concerned by potential artillery fire: 436,370 people,” noted the document, dated September 25, 2018.
The same document further said that the CAESARs also play a role in supporting “loyalist troops and Saudi armed forces in their progression into Yemeni territory.”