France says missiles found on pro-Haftar base were ‘unusable’

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A member of forces allied to Libya's internationally recognized government looks at American Javelin anti-tank missiles, which were confiscated from eastern forces led by Khalifa Haftar in Gharyan, in Tripoli, Libya June 29, 2019. REUTERS
A member of forces allied to Libya’s internationally recognized government looks at American Javelin anti-tank missiles, which were confiscated from eastern forces led by Khalifa Haftar in Gharyan, in Tripoli, Libya June 29, 2019. REUTERS

The French military said on Wednesday several Javelin missiles found in a rebel base in Libya were purchased by the French government from the United States but were never intended for sale or transfer to any party to the Libya conflict.

The four missiles were discovered in June when forces loyal to the UN-backed government overran the camp. The U.S. is investigating.

France admitted the weapons, which can be used against tanks and other vehicles, belonged to them.

In a statement sent to reporters, the Army Ministry said the missiles were intended for the “self-protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out counter-terrorism operations”.  The Ministry added the missiles were “damaged and unusable” and were being temporarily stored at the depot before eventually being destroyed.

France has previously been accused of supporting Gen. Haftar but has always denied supplying any arms, in line with the UN embargo which has been in place since 2011.

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