Arms Pour Into Libya as UN Embargo Is Ignored

With more fighting expected, arms arrive by air and sea

Following the NATO-imposed regime change in Libya, there were huge concerns that the massive caches of Gadhafi-era arms would quickly find their way out of the country and arm factions throughout the world. Increasingly, arms are finding their way back into Libya.

The UN has called for an arms embargo in Libya, but with constant warfare and the whole country at stake, the countries trying to sway fighting one way or another have largely ignored that.

This has meant that the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) of Gen. Khalifa Hafter is the recipient of a large number of UAE cargo flights into the area around Benghazi, and truckloads of arms routinely are sent in from Egypt, which supports him.

On the other side of the country, the Government of National Accord (GNA) has seen its primary support come from Turkey, and the Turkish military is regularly sending shiploads of armament into the country. This has led Egypt to try to intercept Turkish ships and stop those deliveries.

As a practical matter, it’s a lot harder to stop shipments militarily than it is to sneak them in, and that’s meant the country is, once again, awash in weapons and ammunition, with another LNA vs. GNA battle threatening to erupt at any time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of