Turkey: Targeting Turkish interests in Libya will have grave consequences

Turkish Foreign Ministry warns those who obstructs Turkish interests will be considered targets

Haftar forces intercept Turkish vessel transporting medicine. [Photo: AA]
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the detention of Haftar forces of a ship run by a Turkish company and its crew in the port east of Libya.

Haftar’s forces detained a vessel transporting medicine to Libya’s port of Misrata and its 17 crew members, including nine Turkish citizens, claiming they did not comply with instructions.

Haftar’s Spokesperson stated on his social media that they intercepted the Turkish ship Mabrouka, under a Jamaican flag because the ship entered a prohibited area and did not respond to calls and withdrew to the port of Ras Al-Hilal, he added that ship was investigated and inspected because it violated maritime rules and laws

The Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded that the ship be released immediately to resume its planned journey, warning those who obstruct their interest with severe consequences and that they will become targets to the Republic of Turkey.

“In a period when the political process under UN auspices is underway between our Libyan brothers, Haftar and his militia are continuing their hostile stance,” The Ministry said. “Targeting Turkish interests in Libya will have grave consequences, and these elements (who target Turkish interests) will be viewed as legitimate targets.”

It is the second Turkish-owned vessel seized by the Haftar forces this year, according to private maritime intelligence firm Ambrey Intelligence.

Haftar’s forces claimed that Turkey is violating the UN instated arms embargo on Libya by continuing to supply the GNA forces with arms and fighters despite the ongoing ceasefire agreement that was signed in October of this year.

Turkey is the primary foreign backer of Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), providing military equipment, advisers and trainers to the GNA army in the recent conflict in the country’s capital of Tripoli.

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