Full steam ahead for Op Irini

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Hundreds of vessels and dozens of flights were investigated by Operation EUNavFor Med Irini in four months monitoring sea, air and land possible illicit flows.

One of the investigations saw a merchant vessel boarded, inspected and diverted for suspected violation of the arms embargo off Libya. Additionally 14 special reports were sent to UN Panels of Experts concerning both sides of the conflict in Libya.

With the arrival of the Greek frigate HS Limnos, Irini reached full operational capability the EU force said in a statement. This means Irini now is fully capable to undertake all needed actions to execute its mandate, including boarding suspect embargo breakers showing unco-operative or strange behaviour.

To date Irini has performed 12 visits on collaborative merchant vessels and monitored 10 ports and landing points, 25 airports and landing strips. Irini has acquired intimate knowledge of its area of interest, boosted by satellite images from the EU Satellite Centre, which fulfilled up to 250 specific Irini requests.

Irini now has three naval vessels provided by Italy, Germany and Greece, four aircraft in direct support, from Luxembourg, Poland, France and Greece and a drone provided by Italy. In associated support to the operation there are French and Italian aerial and naval assets. These assets co-operate with Irini remaining under their country’s control.