Greek press: Warnings overlooked in fatal rescue mission in Libya

Devastation caused by floods in Derna, Libya, September 28, 2023

Nov 20, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas

An investigation by Greek newspaper Kathimerini says that mistakes and oversights in the planning and execution of a fatal mission undertaken by the Special War Command (DEP) of the Greek Armed Forces in Libya on September 17, in the aftermath of deadly floods.

The search-and-rescue mission resulted in the deaths of three Greek military personnel and two volunteer interpreters in a road accident.

Interviews with senior special forces officers and documents seen by the newspaper reveal that only one and a half days were allocated for the preparation of the operation, contrary to the formal requirement of six working days according to regulations.

Furthermore, officials disregarded explicit warnings regarding the high accident risk in the region. The bus carrying the Greek team, mostly elite forces from the Special Paratroopers Unit, crashed on its way to the city of Derna, affirming the prophetic warning: “Road journeys within Libya remain extremely dangerous. Traffic accidents are frequent and often result in fatalities.”

Moreover, discrepancies emerge regarding the mission’s true purpose, with insiders suggesting that it was primarily designed to generate positive publicity for the newly established DEP.

Following the accident, a sworn administrative inquiry (EDΕ) was initiated. Exclusive information indicates that the inquiry has concluded, but the findings have not been made public. Sources indicate that on November 10, a decision was made for the military prosecutor of Athens to conduct additional investigations into the case.

Libyan media