Khalifa Haftar’s forces have released the Grenada-flagged ship that has intercepted off Derna’s coast along with the three Turkish crew members, according to Turkish media outlets.
The spokesman for Haftar’s forces, Ahmed Al-Mismari, said Saturday that the crewmen were detained and the ship was tugged to Ras Al-Hilal port.
Al-Mismari also indicated that the ship was inside the administrative sea boundaries that have been outlined by the new agreement between Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA), adding that they would be taking action against the ship and crew as per the international law.
Grenada, whose flag is on the ship, is a Caribbean country comprising a main island. Its name is taken from Andalusian Granada.
In the meantime, the Chief of Navy Force of Haftar’s forces Faraj Al-Mihdawi told Greek “Alfa TV Channel” on December 11 that he had received orders to sink and target any Turkish ships in Libya’s territorial waters on oil exploration missions.
Last June, Haftar’s forces detained Turkish workers but hastily released them after Turkey gave them an ultimatum of 24 hours to release the Turks. The incident came after Al-Mismari had announced that he was instructed by Haftar to arrest any Turkish national in Libya and to target the Turkish ships and boats. He later denied such orders and instructions against the Turks.
Both Turkey’s Parliament and Libya’s Presidential Council of the GNA approved the MoU in maritime cooperation early in December. On December 07, the MoU took effect.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Head of the Presidential Council signed on November 27 two MoUs in security and military cooperation and in maritime boundaries demarcation to secure the rights of the two countries as per the international law.