- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2015

Italy’s coast guard said Friday that it was “humiliating” that its personnel had to depend on others for protection from possible terror attacks and demanded that the government provide them with weapons.

Libya’s deteriorating security situation and Syria’s ongoing civil war has created a wave of migrants heading out across the Mediterranean, but Italy’s coast guard lacks the ability to defend itself from the threat posed by Islamic radical organizations.

A resolution by the coast guard’s General Command said Friday that the situation was “seriously undermining staff morale” and that urgent talks with Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi were need, Agence France Presse reported Friday. Italy’s coast guard needs a designation that matches its police force; until that happens, staff cannot carry weapons.

The resolution adopted Friday notes a situation where, on Feb. 15, the coast guard was forced to hand over an empty migrant boat to smugglers, which would presumably be used to send over more refugees, AFP reported.

The Islamic State group has stated that it wants to flood Europe with migrants, which would allow security threats to sneak in with those who are legitimately fleeing the region’s chaos.

Roughly 2,100 refugees were rescued last Sunday alone by Italy’s coast guard, The Associated Press reported.

SEE ALSO: Islamic State aims to flood Europe with 500K migrants

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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