Libya Seizes Italian Ship In The Gulf Of Sirte

Another vessel has been seized on the high seas...but the parties involved might be surprising to some. 

Sputnik reports that Libya has seized an Italian vessel in the Gulf of Sirte.


The seizure comes as tensions between Iran and the UK climb as both countries have seized tankers. Iran captured two British-flagged oil tankers in retaliation for British Royal Marines seizing a Panamanian-flagged tanker carrying a shipment of Iranian crude. The UK has threatened a "robust" response if Iran doesn't release the two ships and their crew, though Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK isn't exploring "military options" at this early stage.

Though the motive for the seizure hasn't yet been made clear, many suspect piracy or some kind of fisherman's dispute (the ship was a fishing trawler).

Rome told Italy's ambassador to Libya to "work promptly with the utmost efficacy to ensure the correct treatment and rapid release of the crew and the vessel...which has been forced to head for Misrata," the ministry told Sputnik.

The waters where the Italian ship was seized are denoted as "high risk," mostly because of the instability in Libya, which hasn't had a functioning national government since the NATO-backed ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

However, in Misrata, the part of Libya closest to where the ship was seized, the Government of National Accord, the Italian and UN-recognised Libyan government, is believed to be in control.