By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 6 September:
A relief ship reportedly carrying humanitarian supplies from Benghazi to Syria has been allowed to unload its . . .[restrict]cargo in Turkey, having initially been refused by the local authorities.
The supplies, which were unloaded on Tuesday at Iskanderun, subsequently proceeded under armed guard to Antakya, situated just 20km from Syria’s Idlib province which has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting between Syrian revolutionaries and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.
“The security detail was provided to us in order to protect the convoy from supporters of the Assad government”, said Mohammed Bergathi, one of the members of the mission.
“The convoy consisted of medical supplies provided by a local medical company, together with other humanitarian goods provided for by Libyan businessmen”, he added.
Bergathi said that members of the convoy had been staying in local hotels together with journalists and other activists covering the situation inside Syria.
The vessel carrying the supplies had previously attempted to unload its cargo on 18 August, but permission had been refused by the port authorities, who were reportedly concerned as to whether it was only humanitarian supplies that were being transported on the ship.
Following the refusal, both the captain of the ship, Mohammed Ahsibi and the head of the relief mission, Omar Emshiti, were taken in for interrogation.
In the past few months, there have been a number of Libyans have travelled to Syria to join the revolutionaries there. Libyan weapons have found their way into Syrian territory.
Libya is the only country in the world so far to have officially recognised the opposition Syrian National Council. [/restrict]