The Libyan Army dispatched several military vehicles to the west of Sirte province on Saturday, while the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) said clashes took place at its facilities in the Brega region in eastern Sirte over the weekend, in two separate instances of escalation in the country's ongoing conflict.
A large number of military vehicles reached Abugrein as part of Operation Paths to Victory, which was launched to liberate the central city of Sirte and Jufra from putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar's militias, according to army sources.
Meanwhile, the NOC said Saturday there were clashes between As-Saiqa – an armed group loyal to Haftar – and guards near oil facilities in the Gulf of Sirte in the eastern Brega region.
Fighting took place a few hundred meters from oil tankers, and armed group members ignored the safety of the oil facilities and employees, the Libyan Army said.
NOC highlighted the importance of removing Syrian mercenaries, Sudanese Janjaweed militias and Russia's paramilitary faction Wagner Group from oil facilities and urged a restructuring of the safety of oil fields under the umbrella of a professional, independent and disciplined security force.
In a written statement on July 17, the NOC also expressed deep concerns about "reports of the increasing likelihood of intensified military conflict, potentially extending to oil and gas facilities."
Libya, with the largest oil reserves in Africa, can produce 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. However, production has fallen below 100,000 barrels due to interruptions by pro-Haftar militias in the past six months.
The key city of Sirte, which lies some 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of the capital, is currently under the control of Haftar's forces.
Sirte briefly served as a stronghold for the Daesh terror group, before being liberated by the GNA in 2016. It fell last January into the hands of Haftar's camp. Taking Sirte would open the gate for Tripoli-allied forces to advance farther eastward and potentially seize control of vital oil installations, terminals and oil fields that forces loyal to Haftar shut down earlier this year, cutting off Libya’s major source of income.
Russian mercenaries fighting for putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar have set booby traps in the central city of Sirte to prevent the Libyan Army from advancing into the area, according to GNA sources. Similar tactics were used by Haftar's militias in Tripoli and Tarhuna, which were recently recaptured by the Libyan Army from forces loyal to the warlord.
Meanwhile, a Turkish-made robot is being used to neutralize improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ammunition in Tripoli, according to a statement by the Turkish Defense Ministry.
The ministry said TMR 2, a remote-controlled device, allows security forces to safely neutralize mines, IEDs and ammunition in Libya.
Libya has been split since 2014 between rival factions in Tripoli, home to the internationally recognized GNA and in the east, where warlord Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) holds sway.
Though an eastern government aligned with Haftar has set up parallel institutions, international agreements say only the NOC in Tripoli can produce and export oil, with revenue channeled through the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) in the capital.
Haftar and his foreign supporters want oil revenue to flow to it directly, rather than through the CBL. Diplomats say the east has attempted to export oil directly, in breach of those rules, during the blockade.
This year Turkish backing has helped the GNA suddenly regain control of most of the northwest, after beating back a 14-month assault on the capital by the LNA, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt.
The LNA still controls the east and south, including most major oil fields and export terminals
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.