Libya PM ‘Not Aware’ of Efforts to Arm Syrian Rebels

Says He 'Doubts' Such a Program Exists

by Jason Ditz, March 09, 2012

In a meeting today in Washington, Libyan NTC Prime Minister Abd-ur Rahim ElKaib said he was “not aware” of any existing efforts in Libya to arm or train the Syrian rebel factions, and said he “doubts” that there are any.

US officials later told the press that ElKeib’s doubts amounted to a “firm denial” of the existence of any Libyan-run training camps for the Syrian rebel factions, following Russian accusations at the United Nations that such camps exist.

Russia said that there was a “special training center” operating with “support” from the Libyan government, and Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Libya’s “export of revolution” was turning into an “export of terrorism.”

Despite ElKeib’s “denials,” Libyan officials have repeatedly spoken of offering training and arms to the Syrian National Council (SNC), and was the first to recognize the group of mostly exiled rebels as the “legitimate authority” of Syria.

There were even reports, in the wake of the NATO-backed Libyan Civil War, that some Libyan militias might look to invade Syria outright, though those reports appear to have fallen by the wayside with the subsequent collapse of NTC control over the nation and predictions of a new Libyan civil war on the horizon.

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