Italy Sends Warships into Libyan Waters to Block Refugees | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Italy Sends Warships into Libyan Waters to Block Refugees

On August 3, the Italians government sent the frigate Commandante Borsini into Libyan territorial waters to stop refugees fleeing Libya for Europe. This violation of the sovereignty of Libya, a former Italian colony, aims to destroy refugee vessels and force refugees back into Libya, where the militias that have controlled the country ever since the devastating NATO war against Libya in 2011 detain them in appalling conditions.

The Italian parliament has approved a law allowing the Italian navy to trespass into Libyan waters under the pretext that they are helping the Libyan coast guard to arrest refugees. Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti even declared that the goal was to “reinforce Libyan sovereignty.” A large majority in parliament voted for the intervention, 328 to 113 in the lower house and 191 to 47 in the upper house.

The law provoked outrage on Libyan social media and protests in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with banners bearing pictures of Omar al-Mukhtar, the “Lion of the Desert” who led the resistance to Italian colonial rule in the early 20th century, and the slogan “No to a return to colonialism.” Rome reacted by cutting the number of vessels deployed off Libya from six to two.

Human rights groups denounced the Italian naval operation.