Emirates Leaks reveals: The UAE cooperates with Rami Makhlouf to support its militia in Libya
Reliable sources revealed suspicious cooperation between the UAE and a Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf to support Abu Dhabi militias in Libya.
The sources said that the Syrian-owned Cham Wings Company is a secret means for the UAE to support Khalifa Haftar’s militias with mercenaries and money.
The sources pointed out that recent months have witnessed an increase in flights on the Damascus-Benghazi line, indicating the transfer of more mercenaries to Libya.
According to the sources, last month witnessed no less than ten round-trip flights between Damascus and Benghazi to transport mercenaries.
Relations between Damascus and Latakia (on the Syrian coast) and Benghazi, via Abu Dhabi, began in 2018 and resulted in the bringing in of Syrian mercenaries.
About 2,000 Syrian mercenaries are fighting with Haftar, with total Emirati funding.
The trips include drug smuggling operations for Haftar’s militias to finance military operations with Emirati support.
And the private airline, Sham Wings, is subject to sanctions from the United States and the European Union and is owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the Syrian regime leader, Bashar al-Assad.
At the end of last year, Rami Makhlouf and his family arrived in the UAE, fleeing corruption cases in Syria and Lebanon.
The 550-page report stated that the arms embargo imposed on Libya since 2011 is “totally useless.”
The report, compiled by six experts charged with monitoring the arms embargo, said, “The violations committed by the UAE and countries that directly support the parties to the conflict in Libya are generally blatant and demonstrate complete contempt for sanctions measures.”
The experts used photos, graphs and maps for the period from October 2019 to January 2021.
They explained that the control of these countries over “the entire supply network complicates monitoring, cutting and prohibiting these activities,” stressing that “these two factors alone complicate the arms embargo.”
The experts have denounced the embargo violations in which the UAE was implicated six years ago.
The experts also pointed to Turkey, which supports the authority of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
The recent report of the United Nations experts reinforces these accusations. It adds to the list of his convictions, the American Eric Prince, founder of the security company Blackwater, a supporter of former US President Donald Trump.
The report indicated that Eric Prince is accused of sending or seeking to send foreign mercenaries, weapons and even “armed attack helicopters” to Khalifa Haftar when he was trying in 2019 to topple the Libyan government recognized by the United Nations.
Experts say that the number of mercenaries from the Wagner Group deployed in Libya may reach two thousand”.
They explained that “despite the ceasefire agreement signed on October 25, 2020, nothing indicates that Wagner (company) has withdrawn from Libya.”
Experts mentioned another private Russian company, the Rossiysky System Bizobasnosti Group, for its role in the renewal of combat aircraft.
The experts reached the same conclusion regarding the arms embargo on economic sanctions that target individuals or entities.
The experts emphasized that “the application of the assets freeze and the measures to ban the travel of the concerned persons are still not feasible,” noting that “they monitored one case of failure to respect the freeze of assets,” as well as “a permanent lack of transparency in Libya” regarding financial operations.
The report also confirmed that “the authorities of the east (the country) continued their efforts to export crude oil and import fuel for aircraft illegally.”
They also indicated that refined petroleum products are still being exported illegally by land.
Although this activity is minimal, it increased from previous years, especially in western Libya, according to experts.
The United Nations experts recommended that the Security Council imposed on the aircraft that were considered to have violated the embargo “measures to revoke their license and prevent them from flying and landing.”
They also asked the council to “allow member states to search, at sea off the coast of Libya, ships heading to or coming from Libya that has reasonable grounds to believe that they are exporting or trying to export crude oil or refined petroleum products illegally.”