The commander of the naval frontline of “Volcano of Rage” Operation of the Libyan Army under the Presidential Council’s command Rida Essa said they had tasked navy personnel to foil any attacks by Khalifa Haftar’s forces, in addition to doing their job regarding illegal immigration.
Rida Essa denied in a joint press conference on Saturday with navy spokesman Ayoub Qassim that they had named the area from Sirte to Ras Ajdair a military operations’ zone.
“We’re not afraid of facing any assaults by Haftar’s forces from the sea.” He added.
“We have done over 70 search operations from Sirte’s coast to Zuwara’s, near the Tunisian border. We have intercepted foreign frigates smuggling off the Libyan coast. We have also intercepted over 1700 immigrants since the start of the Tripoli offensive.” Essa indicated.
Navy spokesman Ayoub Qassim hailed the role of the forces thwarting Tripoli attacks and said the naval forces are well prepared in positions on the maritime frontline.
“We’re doing our best to foil fuel smuggling in the sea despite lack of capabilities. Hence, these operations have been halted for now.” Qassim said.
He added that the migrants’ route to Europe via Libya has become very difficult as Libyan coastguards are well-positioned off the coast shutting down the northern gate to Europe.
“We have rescued 2475 migrants off the Libyan coast so far this year, thus making a great drop in illegal migration since July of last year.” Qassim explained.