PARIS (Reuters) – The French military said on Wednesday several Javelin missiles found in a rebel base in Libya were purchased by the French government from the United States but were never intended for sale or transfer to any party to the Libya conflict.
In a statement sent to reporters, the Army Ministry said the missiles were intended for the “self-protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out counter-terrorism operations”.
“Damaged and unusable, the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction,” the ministry said.
The New York Times reported earlier that the cache of four Javelin anti-tank missiles were recovered last month by Libyan government forces during a raid on a rebel camp in the town of Gheryan, in the mountains south of Tripoli.
(Reporting by Sophie Louet; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Richard Lough)