Parts exported for use in ambulances among components of Turkish missiles used in Syria
Conflict Armament Research (CAR), an independent research group that reports on weapon supplies into armed conflicts in different parts of the world, said in its recent reports that some "critical components" manufactured by Dutch, American and Chinese companies were used in Turkish-made air-to-surface missiles - likely fired from drones - in Northern Syria in the last couple of years.
The missiles were identified by CAR to be models of MAM, or Mini Akilli Muhimmat (Mini Smart Ordnance) missile system produced by Turkey's defense contractor Roketsan.
CAR noted that in response to Turkey's occupation of parts of Northern Syria in October 2019, several European governments - including those of Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom - announced a halt to new export licenses for arms sales to Turkey, and that the components in question "are commercially available and do not appear to be covered by existing export controls."
It also added that drone strikes in Northern Syria in recent years have included "several strikes against civilian vehicles and populated areas that resulted in reported civilian casualties."
One of the components found by CAR's field investigation teams among the recovered fragments of MAM missiles in Northern Syria is electronic brakes produced by Amsterdam-based Kendrion NV, which develops, manufactures, and markets electromagnetic systems and components for industrial and automotive applications.
CAR was informed by Kendrion that it had delivered the electromagnetic brakes to a Turkish company called FEMSAN, who had confirmed to Kendrion representatives that the brakes would be used on blood analyzing machines fitted to ambulances across Turkey.
Roketsan and another major Turkish defense contractor Aselsan are listed among clients of FEMSAN in the company's website.
CAR investigators also documented among the recovered missile fragments gyroscopes, which bore legible markings indicating their manufacture by a company called Analog Devices, an American semiconductor company specializing in the design and manufacture of high-performance analogue and digital signal processing integrated circuits used in electronic equipment.
A third component is printed circuit boards marked with the star logo of Galaxytak, a Chinese company that specializes in manufacturing high-tech printed circuit boards. On one occasion, CAR documented an additional printed circuit board that was marked with the logo of a different Chinese company, Shennan Circuits, a state-owned communications circuit board manufacturer based in Shenzhen.
Both Galaxytak and Shennan Circuits have exported thousands of printed circuit boards to Turkey in recent years, primarily to companies involved in the Turkish defense industry, CAR said.
A Turkish government media outlet, Defence Turk, said spuriously in an article on Wednesday that it has been stated in CAR's report that "none of the exported parts were critical components."
CAR investigation teams work in active armed conflicts across the world, including theaters of international concern, such as Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.
CAR's partners include several UN agencies, the European Commission, the US State Department, and foreign ministries of Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
CAR uploads all verified findings onto its EU-funded iTrace Global Weapon Reporting System.