Bashagha: France’s admission of owning wepoans in Gharyan means it backs Haftar’s war on Tripoli
The interior minister of Libya’s internationally-recognized government said France’s admission that it owned sophisticated US-made missiles found at a Libyan base seized from Khalifa Haftar’s forces indicates it backs his offensive to seize the capital.
Speaking in an interview in the Libyan city of Misrata, Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha disputed France’s claim that the missiles were inoperable and said his government has asked experts from the United Nations and U.S. to examine the weapons to confirm they are in working order.
“The dung leads to the camel,” Bashagha said, citing an Arab proverb. “France implicated itself when it said the Javelins were with a French security team. If the Javelins belonged to a French security team, that means France has admitted it was present militarily and officially in Gharyan to support Haftar.”
Bashagha said a French counter-terrorism team had been present in western Libya and cooperating with a military commander from the Tripoli-based government. The team left with all its equipment shortly after Haftar began his offensive in early April, he said.
Another French team left by sea, and both groups took all their weapons, Bashagha said.
France had denied having any military presence in Gharyan, but admitted that the weapons found on the frontlines were its.