- March 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm #129381
Khalifa Haftar Forces Capture Key Libya Oil Terminals
East-based forces claim they have regained control of two oil installations of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider from rival forces.
Forces loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar say after heavy fighting they have regained control of the major oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider in the volatile eastern part of the country, weeks after it was captured by a rival faction.
Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman of Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), told Reuters news agency the eastern-based armed group had taken back the ports from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB).
LNA forces were moving towards the town of Ben Jawad, about 30km west of Es Sider, to face off with BDB forces, al-Mismari said.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Tripoli, said Benghazi Defence Brigades’ sources confirmed reports that the ports were lost and its fighters were under attack.
BDB’s advance on Es Sider and Ras Lanuf on March 3 set off a fresh round of fighting for control of the ports in Libya’s Oil Crescent, a strip of coast southwest of Benghazi, raising fears of an escalation of violence and a reversal for the OPEC member state’s efforts to revive its oil output.
Libya splintered into rival political and armed groupings after the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. It remains deeply divided between factions based in the east and west that back rival governments and parliaments.
Haftar, who is aligned with the eastern parliament and government, has been fighting a two-year military campaign with his LNA forces against armed groups in Benghazi and elsewhere in the east.
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