EU Launches First IRINI Mission Despite Sarraj’s Objections – Al Marsad

The first mission of naval and air Operation IRINI to monitor the arms embargo on Libya was launched on Sunday according to European media and the Itamilradar website, which published a map of the route of the first mission.

[Libya, 27 April 2020] – On Sunday the European Union (EU) flew reconnaissance and technical support aircraft for six hours off eastern Libya in the area near the maritime borders that Turkey had made up with Libya under an agreement with the Presidential Council that neither the legitimate Libyan parliament nor even the parallel one in Tripoli approved.

The aircraft flew from the Sigonella Airbase, southern Italy, to the international waters opposite Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar up to the international waters adjacent to the territorial waters opposite Misrata where the Turkish arms shipments pass towards the Libyan West.

The launch of the EU operation comes with international blessing despite the objections of the President of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, who considers IRINI to be directed against the military supplies provided by Turkey to his militia groups.

Turkey, through its official Anadolu News Agency, accused Europe of straightjacketing its ally in Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA), describing the operation as shady. On the other hand, European press talks about the fear of Turkish arms flowing in abundance to the hands of extremists and smuggling gangs, especially after their re-control of the western coast from Zawiyah to Ras Agadir.


Sarraj had sent a message to the UN Security Council on 19 April stating that his country opposes Operation IRINI, considering it in violation of United Nations Resolution 2292/2016 recognizing the GNA. However, Operation IRINI paid no attention to his objections and began its mission.

© Al Marsad English (2020)