The Wall Street Journal revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ramped up deliveries of military supplies to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar this year, according to a confidential United Nations report, flouting an arms embargo as the Gulf state tried to salvage the Haftar’s military campaign and check the influence of regional rival Turkey.
The UAE’s military flights surged as Haftar fought to prevent the collapse of his yearlong attack on Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli, according to a diplomat with access to an unpublished report prepared by a UN expert panel monitoring the arms embargo.
“Between January and April, the UAE air force dispatched some 150 flights that the U.N. experts believe carried ammunition and defense systems.” The report says.
It adds that dozens of flights continued from the Emirates over the summer using an American-made C-17 military transport plane even after Haftar’s offensive unraveled.
According to the report, the UAE has also been accused of using ships to ferry jet fuel to Libya for military purposes in violation of the Libyan arms embargo.
“The European Union, which this year launched naval patrols to give teeth to the embargo, earlier this month stopped a vessel loaded with jet fuel that EU officials allege was meant for military use in an area controlled by Haftar.” The report explained.
The Wall Street Journal also remarked that many of the flights landed at Egypt’s Sidi Barrani air base, near the Libyan border. From there, vehicles and aircraft hauled military hardware into Libya, according to the UN report, which cites aerial images of the base and flight records.