Libyan government seizes US-made weapons from Haftar forces

Libya's internationally recognized government said it seized four pricey US-made weapons from troops loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Iran Press/Africa: Forces allied to Libya’s internationally recognized government based in Tripoli captured sophisticated US rockets as well as drones when they seized a town from eastern forces last week, officials said on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Tripoli’s forces took Gharyan, south of the capital, which eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar had used as their main supply base to attack Tripoli, home to the recognized administration.

Officials showed journalists weapons they said had been seized, among them sophisticated U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.

The Javelin antitank missiles cost more than $170,000 each. Markings indicate they were sold by the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates in 2008, Iran Press reported.

Inscriptions on the Javelin missiles said they had originally belonged to the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, one of Haftar’s main backers.

UN reports have previously said that the UAE and Egypt have been arming Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) since 2014, but details have been unclear.

Even, Israeli security analysts and chief intelligence officers said it was the first time that Javelins had been sighted in the Libya conflict.

Haftar began his assault on Tripoli on April 4, surprising the United Nations, which had been preparing for a national conference to try to end the chaos gripping Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Haftar is a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's government, an ex-CIA asset, and a naturalized US citizen.

In a statement, the State Department said, “We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information. We expect all recipients of US origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations."

Although the US and the United Nations recognize the Tripoli government, US President Donald Trump and Haftar spoke on the phone in April, with Trump praising the general's work "fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources," according to the White House.

Last month, the Trump administration declared a national emergency citing allegedly tensions with Iran to bypass congressional review of more than $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE.


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