Haftar’s forces release seized ship and Turkish crew members after 2-day inspection

Libya-Turkey maritime cooperation MoU stirred tensions in eastern Mediterranean region. [Photo: Social Media]

The forces of Khalifa Haftar have released a ship with Turkish crew members seized over the weekend off Derna’s coast.

Ahmad al-Masmari, a spokesman for Haftar’s forces, said on Monday they found no weapons on the vessel flying a Grenada flag, which was carrying a shipment of flour from Malta to the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria.

The vessel was seized “because it entered Libya’s territorial waters without prior permission”, the spokesman added.

Haftar’s forces seized the ship on Saturday and took it into Ras Al-Hilal port under its control for inspection.

Since April, Haftar’s forces have led an offensive against the GNA, trying to capture Tripoli from the forces defending it.

Turkey and the GNA signed maritime and security agreements last month, drawing international outrage and concern from several Mediterranean countries.

The deals, which were approved by the Turkish parliament on Saturday, allow Ankara to provide military training and equipment at Tripoli’s request.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoganhas also said Turkey could send troops to Libya if the Tripoli government formally asked for their deployment.

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