Four of France’s anti-tank missiles were found on a base loyal to Libyan general, General Khalifa Haftar.
France said the weapons belonged to them but said in a statement that “These weapons were for the protection of forces undertaking intelligence and counter-terror missions.”
The defence ministry statement said that the missiles were “damaged and unusable” and “being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction”.
The ministry has denied breaching the embargo. It said the “unusable” US-made Javelin missiles were due to be destroyed.
Th French government said it never intended to pass the missile to any group in Libya.
Hundreds of people have died in ongoing fighting in Libya and the battle for Tripoli.
The troops belonging to Khalifa Haftar who is a former officer in Muammar Gaddafi’s army want to topple the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.
The United Nations has reported of over 2,800 people displaced by the fighting, requiring help to safety.
Libya has been in turmoil since the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country is ruled by factions.