By Sami Zaptia.
Malta, 23 December 2018:
Last Tuesday’s arms seizure at Khoms port turned out to contain only blank rounds.
The seizure of two containers of allegedly 4 million bullets and a large number of 5 mm hand guns from Turkey had created a huge media and political storm.
However, after Presidency Council and Government of National Accord head Faiez Serraj had ordered an immediate investigating in the face of a huge media uproar, the bullets turned out to be blanks.
UNSMIL had also been moved to order an investigation into the affair, in view of the UN Libya arms and weapons embargo still in place.
Not surprisingly, the Khalifa Hafter-led Libyan National Army (LNA) General Command also expressed its concern on Wednesday.
It confirmed the what it called the “involvement of Turkey and other countries in supporting terrorists in Libya”.
In its statement it said that “it was following with great concern the seizure of national authorities in Khoms seaport west of Libya, shipments of large arms weapons and ammunition coming from the Republic of Turkey.”
It put the number of munitions in the two shipment at over 4.2 million bullets, which it said were “enough to kill nearly 80% of the Libyan people, as well as thousands of pistols, rifles and accessories, including those that could be altered by silencers, to carry out assassinations, and this is a proof of their use in terrorist operations inside Libyan lands.”
It called on the “whole world” to accept its responsibilities “in the direction of Turkey’s destabilization of Libya’s security, along with supporting terrorism.”
It will be recalled that both sides of the Libyan political divide are accused of receiving weapons and munitions from their backers in complete impunity of the UN Libya arms embargo of 2011.
Cynics say that these supplies are carried out with the acquiescence of the leading members of the UN Security Council through their regional allies.