Bener Altun, the Captain of Turkish vessel Tuna-1 which was attacked by the Libyan rival Tobruk government off the coast of the city , said the lives of the crew in the dry cargo ship were deliberately targeted.
Altun said his ship narrowly escaped from being hit by an explosion and said that if the remains of the attack on the ship is examined, it will be reveal that the lives of his crew were targeted.
Forces loyal to Libya’s rival House of Representatives (HoR) assembly led by General Khalifa Hafter first shelled, then conducted air strikes on Tuna-1 on May 10, killing the third officer aboard the vessel. The vessel also reported that some crew members were wounded in the attack.
The ship was chartered to the Cook Islands and was in international waters 13 miles (21 km) off the Tobruk coast when it was attacked by forces loyal to General Hafter’s Tobruk government.
Turkish crime scene investigators have determined that damage to the vessel was caused by artillery shells and a fire resulting from the shelling.
Iskerov Revas, who is a Georgian citizen and the machinist of the ship, stated that they were far away off the coast when attacked. He said “If the artillery fire had hit oxygen tanks and reserve fuel tanks, the ship would have exploded.”
Turkey’s foreign ministry has strongly condemned what it referred to as the “heinous attack” against the Tuna-1.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attack on the Turkish cargo vessel and said the Turkish government will take account of its rights and pursue a legal case over the incident.