Trump ally violated UN embargo on Libya: experts

US security contractor Eric Prince, a close ally of today’s former President Donald Trump, violated the UN arms embargo on Libya along with three companies based in the United Arab Emirates and their top managers during an operation to help a military rebel commander to capture the capital, Tripoli, experts from the world body said.

In a crucial section of a report to the United Nations Security Council and obtained Saturday by The Associated Press, the panel of experts described the “operation of a well-financed private military company” called “Project Opus” with which it would supply military equipment to Commander Khalifa Hifter, based in the east of the country.

“The Project Opus plan also included a component to kidnap or eliminate individuals considered high-value targets in Libya,” according to experts. “

The New York Times and The Washington Post were the first outlets to report on the plan.

Libya, an oil-rich nation, was plunged into chaos after the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in a NATO-supported revolt and the division of the country into a government in Tripoli supported by the UN and rival authorities based in the east, and each side backed by numerous local paramilitary groups as well as regional and foreign powers.

In April 2019, Hifter and his forces, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive in an attempt to capture Tripoli.

His campaign failed when Turkey increased its military support for the UN-backed government with hundreds of troops and thousands of Syrian mercenaries. An agreement in October for a ceasefire led to an agreement to form a transitional government and hold elections on December 24.

The expert panel said in the report that it identified “Project Opus” in June 2019.

It was intended for private military companies to supply Hifter’s forces with “rotary-wing artillery assault aircraft, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, maritime interceptions, cyber systems, drones, and fusion of intelligence and strike capabilities,” the officials said. experts.

Prince became involved when Jordanian authorities learned of elements of the plan “and suspended the auction” of surplus military helicopters to Hifter on June 18, 2019, according to experts.