Russia urges probe of Libya arms shipment to militants in Syria
Russia applied to the UNSC Committee overseeing sanctions against Libya asking to initiate an investigation of the information (about the alleged arms supply to the Syrian opposition from Libya)…,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
"If this information is correct, it means a severe violation of international embargo imposed on Libya," the statement added.
On June 21, the New York Times reported that the evidence collected in Syria together with flight-control data and interviews with militia members, smugglers, militants, analysts and officials in several countries attest to the fact that a great deal of effort, spearheaded and financed by Qatar, is underway to transport arms from Libya to Syrian anti-government gunmen.
The report further noted that Qatari C-17 cargo planes have landed at least three times in Libya this year, including flights from Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli on January 15 and February 1 as well as another that departed Benghazi on April 16.
The aircraft would pick up a shipment of weapons each time. The munitions were then taken to the Turkish-Syrian border, and passed onto the Syrian militants.
Officials say the arms shipments from Libya to Syria principally appear to be the work of armed groups in the North African country rather than the weak central government in Tripoli.
Fawzi Bukatef, a former revolutionary commander who has recently been appointed as Libya’s ambassador to Uganda, said Libyan militiamen have been shipping weapons to Syrian militants for more than a year.
Turmoil has gripped Syria for over two years, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy.