Turkish cargo ship detained by Haftar’s forces released

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Turkish ship, transporting medicine to Libya’s port of Misrata and detained last week by forces loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, was released on Dec. 10.

The vessel and its crew members set out for their final destination Misrata, local sources told Anadolu Agency.

Haftar’s forces detained the vessel and its 17 crew members, including nine Turkish citizens, on Dec. 5 claiming they did not comply with instructions.

On Dec. 8, Ahmed Al-Mismari, Haftar’s spokesman, said on his social media account that the Jamaican-flagged commercial cargo ship Mabrooka, whose owner is said to be a Turk, entered a prohibited area, did not respond to calls, and was taken to the port of Ras al-Hilal.

Al-Mismari added that the ship was “investigated and inspected because it violated maritime rules and laws”.

He also told the Al-Hadath TV channel that the ship was loaded with medicines to be taken to Misrata but entered a forbidden area.

Sources said the procedure has been applied to other ships in the region but no ships have been seized and a penalty was foreseen for entering the wrong area.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement have failed due to a military offensive by Haftar.

Al-Sarraj’s government, also supported by Turkey, is recognized by the U.N. as Libya’s legitimate authority.

Tripoli has been battling Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

Hurriyet Daily News

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