Libyan military strongman orders bombing Italian warships in Libyan waters

Then-General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference in Abyar, east of Benghazi May 31, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
The Libyan eastern commander of Operation Dignity, Khalifa Haftar, has ordered his air force and navy force troops to destroy any ships that are not commercial inside the Libyan waters.
This order comes as the Italian parliament approved Wednesday to send to Libyan waters a naval mission with two Italian warships and a number of officials and experts as well as naval troops to be positioned in Libya to stem migrants flow fro Libyan shores to Italy.
Haftar’s call also comes after the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) had issued a televised statement rejecting any agreements made by the Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Serraj, with Italy regarding the stemming of illegal immigration in the Libyan waters.
The HoR announced that the request of the Presidential Council’s Head is illegitimate as first it violates the Libyan laws because such agreements must be made by the legislative body (the HoR) and second it violates the Libyan sovereignty.
Meanwhile, according to the spokesman of the Libyan Naval Force, Ayoub Qasim, an Italian vessel already arrived in Tripoli Naval Base in Abu Sitta area and will be tasked in cooperation with the Libyan coastguards in combating human trafficking.
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