Italy Intercepts Smuggled Chinese War Drones

( – On June 8, Italian authorities confiscated disassembled Chinese-made Wing Loong drones inside numerous containers that were previously marked as wind turbines. Investigators said that the war drones were intended for Libya’s General Khalifa Haftar, in a clear violation of the United Nations (UN) arms embargoes on the Middle Eastern nation.

Geopolitical experts said that the incident shows the cover efforts to arm the two factions in Libya’s armed conflict, where war drones have become crucial to tip the balance to one side or the other. They added that the situation could destabilize the leadership of Haftar, who has struck an alliance with the Libyan government, which has been backed by the United Nations and many Western nations.

Italian journalists revealed that the containers came from China in a cargo ship, the MSC Arina. They explained that the idea was to secretly load the containers onto another boat, which would’ve transported them to Benghazi.

The Italian reporters also said that local authorities discovered the Chinese war drones thanks to some United States intelligence agencies, which tipped off Italian officials to the presence of the weapons. They also explained that it remains unclear what the Italian government will do about it, as retaliation against China might affect the commercial relationship it has struck with the Asian nation.

Haftar, considered the country’s strongman and the chief of the Libyan National Army, currently controls the eastern part of Libya. He has held that region since reaching a deal with the government following an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the rest of the country in 2020.

The conflict in the Middle Eastern nation started in 2011, following the collapse of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which many world leaders have blamed the Obama administration and the French for being behind it. The situation led to a brutal civil war that has extended to these days.

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