Libya's eastern commander vows to destroy Italian warships if sailed to Libyan water
The Libyan eastern commander of Dignity Operation forces, Khalifa Haftar, has ordered to bombard any warships sailing into the Libyan waters, in a U-turn that could see escalations between eastern Libya and the UN-proposed government's bodies in western Libya get tense.
“The General Commander of Armed Force Marshal Khalifa Haftar instructs chiefs of staff of air and navy forces to intercept any foreign vessels in the Libyan waters except the commercial ones”, the Media Office of Dignity Operation wrote on the official Facebook page.
The call of Haftar came just hours after the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), which backs Haftar's Dignity Operation forces, announced in a statement the rejection of any agreements made by the Head of the UN-proposed government's Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sirraj, and any requests he made to Italy.
"We reject Al-Sirraj request to Italy which can vividly violate the sovereignty of Libya under the pretext of fighting illegal immigration." The spokesman of the HoR Abdullah Belheeq said.
He also said that agreements with other countries come from legislative bodies like the HoR, not by executive ones like the UN-proposed government, which has not been given the confidence vote by the HoR yet, he added.
The HoR statement warned that Italy - by its deal with Al-Sirraj - is trying to export the crisis of illegal immigration to Libya by returning scores of migrants to Libya, making a new security, social and economic dilemma for the country.
The HoR also urged the UN to help thwart the current violation of Libya's sovereignty as it is a member of the UN just like Italy, which means that the latter should commit to the international laws and conventions by respecting Libya's sovereignty.
Meanwhile, Wednesday afternoon, the Italian parliament voted for sending a naval mission to Libya's waters to help stem the current migrants flow right from the inside, knowing that Amnesty International called the step earlier this week a shameful attempt by the Italian authorities to circumvent their duty to rescue refugees and migrants at sea and to offer protection to those who need it.