France says armaments were meant for ‘self-protection’ of counterterrorism unit in Libya but were ‘unusable’.
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 defective and were meant to have been destroyed.
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”.
“Damaged and unusable the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction” the ministry said adding that “they were not transferred to local forces”.
It is the first time since 2016 that France has publicly acknowledged it still has special forces deployed in Libya. It is not clear how many troops are deployed.
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WNU Editor: The big story is not the discovery of this weapons cache, but the French acknowledging that they have Special Forces in Libya.
NYT: US missiles found with Haftar’s forces in Libya were sold to France in 2010 — Libyan Express
UPDATE 1-France says anti-tank missiles found in Libya were “unusable” — Reuters
Missiles belonging to French army found at pro-Haftar base in Libya — France 24
France admits it is owner of missiles found on Libyan rebel base used for Haftar’s assault on Tripoli — The Telegraph
France tries to explain how four of its anti-tank missiles ended up in a Libyan rebel camp — National Post
France denies supplying weapons found on rebel site in Libya — Middle East Eye