Voltaire Network

Libya: France arms and oversees rebel troops

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French daily Le Figaro revealed on 28 June 2011 that it had access to a map of the French secret services, proving that arms had been parachuted down on four Libyan localities.

The newspaper further states that "two makeshift landing strips allowed aircraft flying in from the Arabian Gulf to relay the French arms deliveries."

In turn, Voltaire Network was able to consult a Libyan Government file, attesting that two French aircraft and several Qatari aircraft based in Tunisia had effected the arms deliveries. According to the file, which contained eye witness reports and photographs, the French forces didn’t only drop light weapons, but also heavy weapons, in addition to touching down on the makeshift runway to unload their cargo. Deliveries were also made by sea, after NATO had bombarded the Libyan fleet to open a passage for its own vessels.

Several NATO members maintain that the international embargo on arms sent to Libya is restricted to supplies for loyalist forces and does not apply to the rebels. At the same time, they claim that the prohibition to deploy foreign ground troops does not apply to the operations aiming to "protect civilians", including those "civilians" that have been armed by them.

Moreover, French commandos from the Commandement des Opérations Spéciales were deployed on the ground so as to mark the bombing targets. France denies having troops on the ground, except for the instructors that oversee the rebels, but it is impossible to carry out any bombings without first marking the sites.

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