US investigating missile find at Libya rebel base

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) said last Saturday it was looking into reports that American anti-tank missiles were found by forces loyal to Libya’s unity government at a captured rebel base.

The New York Times reported on Friday that four Javelin missiles were found at a base used by men under the command of Khalifa Haftar, a military leader who has waged a months-long offensive against Libya’s internationally recognised government based in Tripoli.

“We take all allegations of misuse of US origin defence articles very seriously. We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information,” a State Department spokesperson said on condition of anonymity.

“We expect all recipients of US origin defence equipment to abide by their end-use obligations.”

The missiles were apparently discovered this week when forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) recaptured the strategic town of Gharyan in a surprise attack, seizing the main supply base for Haftar’s offensive.

In Tripoli, the GNA last Saturday showed journalists three Javelin missiles and seven Chinese-made Norinco GP6 artillery weapons it said had been seized from Haftar’s base.

“These are a sample that we have obtained permission to bring here,” GNA fighter Ibrahim al-Touil said, adding he could not disclose the total number of the weapons.

Fighters loyal to the internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) displaying precision guided munition, which were reportedly confiscated from forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar in Gharyan. – AFP