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US investigates weapons captured at base in Libya under Haftar's control

  • 2 Jul 2019

The UN-recognised GNA announced finding US-made weapons at seized base belonging to warlord Khalifa Haftar. Seized weapons included four Javelin anti-tank missiles packed in wooden crates marked "armed forces of the United Arab Emirates."

A view of a base with strategic significance, used by Khalifa Haftar units, after being taken under control by UN-recognised Libya government's armed forces as they have entirely recaptured the city of Gharyan, south of Tripoli, Libya from rival forces on June 28, 2019. ( AA )

Washington is reportedly investigating reports that US-made weapons were found at a base of the militia belonging to East Libya-based warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) said its forces found US-made weapons at a base they captured from Haftar's militia in the strategic town of Gharyan, south of Tripoli, last week.

It said the seized weapons included four Javelin anti-tank missiles packed in wooden crates marked "armed forces of the United Arab Emirates."

The London-based Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, citing a State Department spokesperson, said Washington was looking into the reports.

"We take all allegations of misuse of US origin defense articles very seriously. We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information," the spokesperson said.

"We expect all recipients of US origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations."

Haftar's forces have so far been unsuccessful in seeking to capture Tripoli from the GNA in an offensive that began in April.

Nevertheless, his forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based UN-recognised government.

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