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European powers express growing concern about Iranian missiles

Iranian missiles on display at a military exhibition
A weaponry and military equipment exhibition in Tehran on Feb. 7. Photo: Rouzbeh Fouladi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives from the E3 — the U.K., France and Germany — sent a letter last week to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking him to “report fully and thoroughly on Iranian ballistic missile activity.”

The big picture: The group's request follows recent developments in Iran's ballistic missile program, including the inauguration of two upgraded missile platforms and a failed satellite-launch vehicle test. This effort broadens the focus on the Iranian missile threat to encompass future intentions — especially around nuclear-capable systems — and provides a new vector for joint U.S. and European pressure.

U.S. withdraws troops from Libya amid escalating battle near capital

Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar patroling in downtown Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya, in February.
Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar patroling in downtown Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya, in February. Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. government on Sunday temporarily halted its military support for counterterrorism activities and diplomatic missions in Libya as rival militias try to stop fighters loyal to Libyan strongman Gen. Khalifa Hafter from advancing toward the capital of Tripoli, the New York Times reports.

Details: This comes days after the Libyan National Army, led by Hafter, launched a surprise offensive against the capital to seize control — a move that could ultimately plunge the country back into civil war. Early on Sunday, both sides launched airstrikes, “but the exact targets and extent of the damage could not be immediately determined,” per the Times. Meanwhile, the United Nations reportedly said its forces remain active in Libya.