US may halt military supplies to UAE after missiles delivered to Libya

Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura, east of Tripoli Wednesday, July 3, 2019. An airstrike hit the detention center for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed)

Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura, east of Tripoli Wednesday, July 3, 2019. An airstrike hit the detention center for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed)

The US department of defence is also currently investigating how the anti-tank missiles reached Libya.

Outside players have long been accused of supporting opposing sides in Libya’s ongoing fighting which has reached a military stalemate with hundreds dead and thousands displaced.

However, new reports of American missiles – delivered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – being used by the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) against the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces in the capital Tripoli have led to threats by Washington to suspend arms sales to Dubai, the Libya Observer reported.

American Democratic Senator Bob Menendez warned on Tuesday that the US could halt the arms sales to the UAE after reports surfaced about American anti-tank missiles being used by renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s LNA forces in his ongoing attacks on Tripoli after he launched a military invasion in early April in an ongoing power struggle.

Menendez sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on him to probe and look for clarifications regarding the arms deals with the UAE by mid-July.

“You know that if these allegations are true, you would have to cancel all arms sales to the UAE. Such a behaviour and misuse of our arms constitutes a violation of US laws and the UN ban of arms on Libya,” the US Senator explained.

“This is dangerous, especially after (President Donald) Trump’s administration has zigzagged an arms deal to Saudi Arabia and UAE worth $8.1 billion outside the Congress,” he added.

The US department of defence is also currently investigating how the anti-tank missiles reached Libya.

Egypt and France have also been accused of supporting the LNA and Hafter who supports the opposition House of Representatives (HoR) government in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Hafter, meanwhile, has accused Turkey of supporting the GNA and its forces in the capital.

The renegade general recently threatened to target Turkey’s interest in Libya, including businesses, ships and planes – a threat that prompted a strong warning from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 Summit in Japan over the weekend.

– African News Agency

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