A hearing of a case against the German government over its role in US drone strikes on Yemen kicked off at the High Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Muenster on Thursday.

The plaintiffs are the survivors of a US drone strike carried out in August 2012, when rockets hit the Yemeni village of Khashamir and left several civilians dead. They claim that the US military base in the German city of Ramstein plays an important role in the attacks, as the US uses it to pass data on to the drones via satellite.

"Three Yemenis are suing the German Federal Republic. They want Germany to prevent the deployment of US drones in Yemen. The plaintiffs say that the [military] base in Ramstein was used in order to carry out those drone attacks. And they want Germany to prevent it," Gudrun Dahme, spokesperson of the court, explained.

The case was first brought to the Administrative Court in Cologne in May 2015. After the court decided that Germany is not obliged to prevent the US from using the military base for drone strikes, the plaintiffs appealed against this verdict to the High Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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