The Libyan government attacked a Turkish ship yesterday with artillery and air strikes, killing one Turkish national, wounding several, and sending relations between the two countries to new lows. The Wall Street Journal:
Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk has accused Turkey of sending weapons to its Tripoli-based rival and barred Turkish firms from the country. Turkey denies the allegations and has repeatedly pledged its support to a United Nations-led peace effort.
Libyan authorities said they were alarmed when the Turkish-owned cargo ship entered a stretch of water between Tobruk and Derna, not responding to requests from maritime authorities for it to change course.
Libyan officials said the ship’s radio silence led Libya’s military to believe it was carrying weapons into Derna, which Islamic State militants have established as a base to launch attacks on government-allied forces. The city’s commercial port has also been indefinitely closed, opening only sporadically to allow small amounts of fuel imports for power stations. […]
“We strongly denounce this heinous attack toward a civilian ship in international waters and we condemn those who carried out the attack,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said the assault on the Tuna-1 is another violation of international law and is the latest example in a series of strikes and threats to disrupt the U.N.-led peace talks to form a unity government.
The New York Times sets the scene for the attack, in case you haven’t been keeping up:
In January, another foreign ship — a Greek-owned oil tanker — was bombed in the same area by forces allied with the internationally recognized government, based in Tobruk and Bayda.
Meanwhile, Libyan extremists have also recently slaughtered groups of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians, gunned down foreigners in a luxury hotel in Tripoli, and claimed responsibility for several attacks on foreign embassies.
The humanitarian war in Libya just keeps yielding more excitement. How fortunate the United States is to have its foreign policy guided by such a steady hand, how blessed it is to be led by an administration of such breathtakingly clear, unclouded vision.