Greek navy monitors Turkish ship suspected of carrying weapons to Libya

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A frigate from the Greek Navy which is taking part in the EU naval mission off the coast of Africa is currently shadowing a Turkish vessel suspected of carrying weapons to Libya, violating the UN-imposed arms embargo to the civil war-torn country.

According to Greek defense sources, the HS Spetsai, which is participating in “Operation Irini” together with other European Union vessels, sent out a signal to the Turkish vessel, which is accompanied by two Turkish frigates.

The vessel did not respond and a Greek Navy helicopter flew over to ask permission to inspect the cargo. The request was denied by the Turkish frigates with a message that said: “the Turkish ship is under the protection of the Turkish democracy.”

The Italian Commander of “Operation Irini” will now decide on the next steps, but the Greek frigate has been instructed to closely monitor the Turkish vessel.

Since officially joining the war in January, Turkey has deployed its own military forces, allegedly along with Syrian militias, to Libya. Despite the strict arms embargo imposed on Libya by the United Nations, Ankara has also supplied drones and air defense to the UN-recognised GNA.

Its military involvement has been strongly condemned by Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France.

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