Ankara blocks inspection of Turkish ship by German frigate in Libya (video)

23 November 2020
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Ankara has prevented a German frigate, participating in the European Union’s “IRINI” mission, from inspecting a suspected Turkish cargo ship off Libya, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday on its website. Turkey, the magazine adds, does not hide its support for the Tripoli government and continues to send weapons and mercenaries to Libya.

According to the magazine, as part of the European mission to monitor the arms embargo in Libya, the German frigate “Hamburg” was ordered to inspect the Turkish cargo ship “Rosaline A”, for which there was a suspicion that it was carrying weapons.

At the last minute, the check was prevented, after a strong protest by the Turkish government, which stated that it did not give its approval. It is characteristic that the German Special Forces Operators had already boarded the “Rosaline A” and were forced to leave without doing anything, while the ship continued its voyage to the port of Misrata.

As the magazine points out, Turkey “does not hide the direct support of the internationally recognized government of Tripoli and sends weapons and mercenaries by ships and planes. Operation ‘IRINI’, however, is almost powerless without Ankara’s co-operation”. In the summer, German forces again located a cargo ship bound for Libya. The suspicion that it was carrying weapons was immediately confirmed, as a specific type of kerosene was found, which is used only for fighter jets.

In the mean time the Turkish media target the Greek commander of the forces of the operation “IRINI” off Libya, for the attempted inspecting of a Turkish cargo ship.

“Provocation from the Greek commander in the Eastern Mediterranean”, is the title of a relevant post by trthaber.com, accompanied by a video from the company.

The publication states that, in violation of international law, the Greek commander of the forces of the “IRINI” Operation ordered the German frigate “Hamburg” to carry out an inspection on a Turkish ship “Roselina A” that was allegedly “carrying humanitarian aid to Libya“.

“The ship was blocked in violation of international law South-West of the Peloponnese by a German frigate participating in Operation ‘IRINI’ at the orders of the Greek commander”, the report said, adding: “According to the law of the sea, the consent of the state flag must be taken so that the military personnel of Operation ‘IRINI’ can board the ship and inspect it. The men of the frigate ‘Hamburg’ did not have such a permit, however, their helicopter landed on ‘Rosalina A’. The landing of the helicopter and the movements of the men of the frigate ‘Hamburg’ were recorded with mobile phones by the ship’s personnel”.

The senior officer of the Hellenic Navy, Theodoros Mikropoulos, has been the commander of the “Operation “IRINI” (trnsl. “PEACE”) forces since the end of October, when he took over from the Italian Admiral Fabio Agostini.

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