Libyans fire on Italian fishing boats

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

A few days ago the intervention of a unit of the Navy allowed a group of fishing boats, leaving Mazara del Vallo, to get away from a Libyan boat in international waters (v.comunicato).

Today three fishing boats 35 miles off the Libyan coast, between Misrata and Khoms, were shot by the Tripoli coast guard, trained and financed by Rome.

The commander of one of the fishing vessels, theAliseo, was slightly injured by glass shards generated by some bullets that hit the dashboard. The frigate intervened on the scene of the accident Libeccio (photo) which should have been decommissioned last year after almost 40 years of service (the sale of the two FREMMs to Egypt - the White and Schergat - delayed his retirement).

It is now clear that both the self-styled coast guard of Haftar (the former strongman of Cyrenaica) and that of Tripoli (controlled by the Turks) have the clear intention of removing the Sicilian fishing fleet from the Southern Mediterranean, arbitrarily extending the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

It is hoped that this threat will be readily acknowledged by the Italian government, and that it will employ the Navy, in compliance with international law, for the defense of our fishing sector. If an Italian fishing boat were attacked by any vessel (perhaps without a flag indicating membership of a state), in international waters, the Navy would have to intervene by any means necessary to ensure its safety.

Photo: Marina Military