Published: July 10, 2019
LaShic Patterson / US Army / AFP (file photo) | A US army soldier fires the Javelin anti-tank missile at a live fire exercise near Várpalota, Hungary, on June 5, 2019.
France's defence ministry confirmed Wednesday that missiles belonging to the French military had been found on a base used by forces loyal to Libyan rebel leader Khalifa Haftar but denied supplying them, which would be a breach of a UN arms embargo.
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The US-made Javelin missiles, found in the rebel camp south of Tripoli, belonged to the French military but were reportedly defective and scheduled to be destroyed.
“Damaged and unusable, the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction,” a statement from the French ministry of defence said.
The missiles were intended for the “protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out counter-terrorism operations”, the ministry added.
Haftar holds east of Libya
The New York Times reported earlier that the four Javelin anti-tank missiles were recovered last month by forces from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) during a raid on the town of Gheryan, in the mountains south of Tripoli.
Haftar, whose forces hold eastern Libya and much of the country’s south, launched an offensive in early April to wrestle the capital from forces loyal to the GNA.
How the West’s silence emboldened Libya’s Haftar
More than 1,000 people have died in the fighting, including scores killed in an air strike that hit a detention centre for migrants.
'Haftar has become the key player in Libya'
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS) source