Ex-Irish forces accused of training Haftar forces despite arms embargo

Apr 3, 2024 | International actors

On 3 April, the Irish Times reported that former members of the elite Army Ranger Wing within the Irish Defence Forces have been training troops under the command of Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar in contravention of the ongoing UN arms and arms-related embargo in Libya. According to the Times, Irish Training Solutions, a company run by Irish ex-special forces, flew highly skilled soldiers from Ireland to Benghazi to train the 166 Infantry Brigade in 2023 and 2024. They joined other special forces trainers from other jurisdictions. In addition, Russian Wagner mercenaries were allegedly among those trained as part of the LNA’s 166.

In response, the Irish government and gardai have launched an investigation into the allegations. Tánaiste (Deputy PM) Micheál Martin has asked the Department of Enterprise to investigate the extent to which the allegations constitute a breach of the UN’s military training embargo in Libya.