Armed Forces Ministry clarifies weapons discovery in Libya

Libya/Javelin missiles – Statement issued by the Ministry for the Armed Forces

Paris, 11 July 2019

Press articles have reported Javelin missiles discovered in Libya which purportedly belong to France. The Javelin missiles, found in Gharyan, do indeed belong to the French armed forces, which purchased them from the United States. We have confirmed this to our American partners. The facts are as follows.

These weapons were intended for the self-protection of a French detachment deployed for counter-terrorism intelligence purposes. Damaged and out of service, these munitions were temporarily stored in a depot with a view to them being destroyed. They were not transferred to local forces. These weapons, which our forces kept for their own security, were not subject to import restrictions in Libya. There was never any question of these munitions being sold, given up, loaned or transferred to anyone in Libya.

France has long supported the battle being waged by all regular forces to combat terrorism in Libya, in both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and more widely in the Sahel.

France has taken only one side, the one fighting terrorism. There have been no fewer than nine attacks by Daesh [so-called ISIL] in Libya since January 2019. Libya is less than 2,000 km from Paris and 1,000 km from Ajaccio. One of the Ministry for the Armed Forces’ cardinal missions is to protect the French people, and it remains active in tackling the threats of terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda./.

Published on 09/01/2020

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