Comander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, on Wednesday ordered his forces to prevent any ships from entering the country’s territorial waters without his permission.
This came after Italy approved a bill to send a limited naval mission to help Libya’s coastguard curb migrant flow. The government said the mission had been requested by Libya’s UN-backed government.
Earlier that day, Italy sent its first military naval vessels to the Libyan capital Tripoli.
In response, the official Facebook page of Haftar’s forces said that the general ordered the naval bases in the cities of Tobruk, Benghazi, Ras Lanuf and Tripoli to prevent any watercraft from entering the territorial seas without his permission.