The UN-recognized government asked Paris for an urgent and comprehensive answer about French made missiles were found with pro- Haftar forces.

Iran Press/Africa:  Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala on Thursday asked his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to 'urgently explain' how the missiles 'reached Khalifa Haftar's forces, when they were delivered and how', according to a ministry statement.

Haftar in April ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) on an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

The battle is the latest turmoil to rock the North African country which has been caught up in fighting between rival forces since the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libyan Foreign Minister also demanded to know 'the quantities of weapons, whose existence in Libya contradicts the French government declarations ... of support' to Tripoli's national unity government.

France's defense ministry, confirming a report in the New York Times, on Wednesday said the US-made Javelin missiles discovered in June at a camp south of Tripoli had been purchased by France.

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But it denied supplying them to Haftar in breach of a UN arms embargo, saying French forces operating in the war-torn country had lost track of them after they were judged to be defective.

The anti-tank missiles, worth $170,000 (150,000 euros) each, were seized when forces loyal to the UN-recognized government in Tripoli overran the pro-Haftar base in Gharyan, 100km south of Tripoli.

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 Saudi Kingdom, UAE and Egypt have been arming Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) since 2014, but details have been unclear.

Security analysts and chief intelligence officers said it was the first time that Javelins had been sighted in the Libya conflict.

Haftar began his assault on Tripoli on April 4, when United Nations had been preparing for a national conference to try to end the chaos gripping Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Haftar is a former member of Muammar Gaddafi's government, an ex-CIA asset, and a naturalized US citizen.

The French ministry statement did not explain how the missiles were lost and the find is likely to boost suspicions that Paris is backing Haftar on the ground.

Although the US and the United Nations recognize the Tripoli government, US President Donald Trump and Haftar spoke on the phone in April, with Trump praising the general's work "fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources," according to the White House.


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