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Libya fighters seize US and Chinese missiles from Haftar’s forces

Published: June 30, 2019
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Forces allied to Libya’s internationally recognised government based in Tripoli captured US and Chinese rockets as well as drones when they seized a town from eastern forces last week, officials said yesterday, as reported by Reuters.

On Wednesday, Tripoli’s forces took Gharyan, south of the capital, which eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar had used as their main supply base to attack Tripoli, home to the recognised administration.

Officials showed journalists weapons they said had been seized, among them were US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.

They also presented advanced Chinese-made laser-guided artillery shells, and said combat drones had been also been captured, in addition to some 150 prisoners.

Inscriptions on the Javelin missiles said they had originally belonged to the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, one of Haftar’s main backers.

UN reports have previously said that the UAE and Egypt have been arming Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) since 2014, but details have been unclear.

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Libya's renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar has banned commercial flights from Libya to Turkey and ordered his forces to attack Turkish ships and interests in the country, spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari has said. Turkey supports Libya's United Nations-recognised government in Tripoli which retook Gharyan, a strategic town south of the capital, Tripoli, from Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA)forces on Wednesday. "Orders have been given to the air force to target Turkish ships and boats in Libyan territorial waters," al-Mismari said on Friday, adding that "Turkish strategic sites, companies and projects belonging to the Turkish state (in Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces".

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) claims to have spotted French soldiers serving among the forces of General Khalifa Haftar. Commander of the GNA’s First Infantry Brigade, Mustapha Al-Machai, claimed to have spotted six cars carrying French soldiers who had been stationed at Haftar’s operations room in the city of Gharyan, south of Libyan capital Tripoli.

A fighter jet pilot who was shot down and captured by the forces of one of Libya’s rival governments was revealed to be a US Air Force veteran. The US media identified Jamie Sponaugle after his Saudi-facilitated release.

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) announced, via Facebook on Saturday, that it is preparing an operation to remove the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar from around Tripoli. It also said it would seek to enforce security throughout Libya.

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