‘Bomb Italian ships!’ Shock as Libyan general THREATENS Italy over migrant rules

Thursday, August 3, 2017
By Paul Martin

LIBYA has ordered its military to bomb Italian ships in a shocking threat to naval fleets heading to the coast to help with the migrant crisis.

Thu, Aug 3, 2017

The Italian government authorised the country’s navy to carry out the mission on Wednesday, in a bid to stop refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea and heading to Europe.

But the presence of Italian ships in Libyan waters provoked furious reactions from the north African country.

And General Khalifa Haftar, who controls most of the east of Libya, ordered his forces to bomb any ships engaged in the upcoming naval support mission according to a tweet by news site Al Arabiya.

The tweet read: “#Haftar orders bombing of #Italian warships requested by Sarraj.”

Gen Haftar’s forces are thought to be unlikely to open fire on the naval rescue mission ships.

But the threat could further complicate the already delicate project and further strain relations between the general and the country’s UN-backed government in Tripoli.

The Libyan National Army said in a statement: “Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, issues orders to the Libyan naval bases in Tobruk, Benghazi, Ras Lanuf and Tripoli to confront any marine unit that enters the Libyan waters without the permission of the army.”

The order comes a few hours after Libya’s parliament in Tobruk also expressed its opposition to the Italian naval operation.

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