The French ministry of defence has explained that missiles, found by UN-backed forces after it raided a military camp belonging to Khalifa Haftar, who commands the eastern part of Libya, were not intended for the ‘rebel’ commander. The Javelin anti-tank missiles were supplied to the French government by the United States and discovered at Gheryan, in mountains south of Tripoli on 26 June, according to the New York Times.
On 11 July, however, the French government issued a statement explaining that the weapons were intended ‘for the self-protection of a French detachment deployed for counterterrorism intelligence purposes,’ that they were damaged and ‘out of order’ and being temporarily stored in a depot prior to destruction.
‘They were not transferred to local forces. Detained by our forces for their own safety, these weapons were not affected by import restrictions in Libya. There has never been any question of selling, transferring, loaning or transferring such ammunition to anyone in Libya,’ said the defence ministry, which added, ‘France has long supported the struggle of all regular forces engaged against terrorism in Libya, both in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and more widely in the Sahel.
‘France has taken only one party, it is the fight against terrorism. There have been no fewer than nine Daesh attacks in Libya since January 2019. Libya is less than 2,000 kilometers from Paris, and 1,000 kilometers from Ajaccio. The Ministry…counts among its cardinal missions the protection of the French and does not remain inactive in front of the threats of terrorist groups like Daesh or Al Qaida,’ it said.