Oct. 20 (UPI) — Two former German soldiers were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of starting a paramilitary group to fight in Yemen’s civil war.
The two men, identified as Arend-Adolf G. and Achim A., were arrested early Wednesday morning as they were “strongly suspected” of trying to recruit 100-150 other former soldiers and police officers to form a mercenary force to intervene in the conflict in Yemen, the federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe said in a statement.
Both men are former members of Germany’s Bundeswehr and sought to form the group with the goal of “pacifying” the region and forcing peace negotiations between Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government.
Arend-Adolf G. had already contacted seven people to recruit them into the group. The two men also planned to operate as a private military and engage in operations in other conflicts.
Prosecutors said the two men were aware they would inevitably carry out “acts of killing” while deployed and expected civilians to be killed and injured in the fighting.
The pair planned to pay each member of the unit $46,560 a month and agreed the financing should be provided by a third party, preferably Saudi Arabia.
Achim A. unsuccessfully attempted to establish contact with the Saudi Arabian government regarding the plan.