German frigate to patrol off Libya as part of EU operation IriniEuropost
The German frigate "Hamburg" set sail from Wilhelmshaven in the north of Germany on Tuesday to Libyan coast. The ship will be part of the EU operation Irini, designed to help enforce a UN weapons embargo on Libya in the hope of stabilising the country, news wires reported. The ship will patrol the coastal waters off Libya in the next five months.
Operation Irini started at the beginning of May and is an attempt by the EU to reduce the amount of weapon smuggling to Libya which is fuelling the conflict in the country. Germany has been part of the EU operation since its beginning and has already supplied a surveillance plane which has flown about 20 missions so far. The mission's first mandate is expected to continue until April 2021.
Although the ships and planes taking part in Operation Irini are designed to patrol the Libyan coast and surrounding Mediterranean to stop weapon smuggling, they have also been instrumental in spotting and sometimes transporting migrants rescued at sea.