Commercial brakes manufactured by a Dutch company were misused in Turkey’s military applications, according to a report by the London-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) covering between September 2021 and June 2022.
The investigations on Turkish missiles included electromagnetic brakes and printed circuit boards made by companies based in the United States, China and Europe. Components were important from European Union member states.
CAR’s study found that the electromagnetic brakes were intended for use in ambulances, but ended up in military use in Turkish cross-border operations in north and east Syria.
Some of the critical components included in the study are off-the-shelf products that are not covered by existing export controls, CAR found.
The group also found in a study of 17 air-to-surface missiles that all of the ones involved in Turkey’s campaign in Syria were all part of the Turkish-manufactured MAM series.
While European export control authorities have notified CAR that current regulation did not apply to the purchases, the Dutch manufacturer of the components confirmed that it will no longer do business with FEMSAN, the Turkish motor company that handled the imports.
Turkey has targeted northern Syria since 2017, and intensified its military incursions after 2019’s Operation Peace Spring, with the aim to remove the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from a 30-kilometre-deep ‘safe zone’ and take control in the region. SDF is partnered with the global coalition against ISIS, and was the main boots on the ground in the US-led fight against the jihadist group.