AFP reveals UN investigation into UAE’s provision of Chinese-made drones to Haftar for war on Tripoli
AFP has reported, after seeing a confidential report on Monday, that the United Nations’ experts panel is investigating missile strikes near Libya’s capital, Tripoli, that were likely fired by Chinese-made drones used by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and hence point to possible involvement by the United Arab Emirates.
According to AFP, the UN panel of experts said in the report to the Security Council that it had examined photographs of missile debris and had identified the weapon as a Blue Arrow air-to-surface missile, which has not been used in Libya before.
“That missile is only in use in three countries — China, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates — and is paired with the Chinese-made Wing Loong drone.” AFP reported.
It added that the panel is now investigating the probable use of Wing Loong UAV variants by Haftar’s forces, or by a third party in support of them.
The April 19-20 missile attack on the southern suburbs of Tripoli was carried out as forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar battled to seize the capital from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are key supporters of Haftar.
CNN reported what it described as “a regional source” as saying that the governments of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have pledged some $200 million to Khalifa Haftar’s military campaign, some of which has been used to buy weapons.
“The experts said the use of the drones was likely a recent non-compliance of the arms embargo as the weapon system reported on has not been identified in Libya before,” according to the report sent to the council on Thursday and seen by AFP.
The UN Security Council has been divided on how to address the crisis from Haftar’s offensive on Tripoli, with Russia refusing to condemn the Libyan strongman and the United States taking some time to consider the situation.