The Libyan National Army (LNA)loyal to General Khalifa Haftar seized key oil ports from the UN-backed government of national accord (GNA), according to Sputnik.
The eastern Libyan army is supported by Tobruk’s parliament that is in charge in the country’s east .
Haftar’s spokesman Ahmad Mesmari was quoted by LANA news agency saying, “Our armed forces entered Ajdabiya, As Sidr, its industrial and residential areas, the Ras Lanuf port is also under their control. Fighting continues for the port of Zueitina.”
According to officials familiar with the operation,the Libyan forces loyal to Gen.Haftar recaptured two key oil terminals from militias related to the GNA in a surprise attack, reported AP.
In fact, the majority of Libya’s oil exports went through the three terminals before a militia known as Petroleum Facilities Guards-now supports the GNA- seized them about two years ago.
The officials said there were no casualties among the attacking forces and that the militiamen at the three facilities did not offer much resistance.
Brigade General Al-Mesmari, a spokesman for Haftar’s forces,said “Many of them (militiamen) abandoned their weapons to escape or turned themselves in.” He added,”We will continue to move till we secure the whole area.”
The fight to control the oil ports have started last month when Khalifa Haftar’s troops led by Muftah Shagloof, who was appointed by Haftar as chief of Petroleum Facilities Guard, attacked Zueitina oil terminal.
Shagloof was tasked by Haftar to occupy oil ports in the oil crescent region in addition to the oil fields in Wahat, Maradah and Zallah regions.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) under Ibrahim Jadhran has recently reached an agreement with the GNA to open a number of exporting ports, opposed by Haftar who refused the resumption of oil exports through the GNA.
Moreover, Haftar’s forces also moved against two areas in Benghazi that remain under militia control. Al-Mesmari said there was also little confrontation from the militiamen there, but that land mines were slowing down the advancing troops.
General Khalifa Haftar-backed by Tobruk government based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognize the U.N.-backed government-enjoys the support of several Arab nations, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, as well as western countries as France.
Libya lives in a severe security chaos as a result of the struggle of power between the Islamic militias and other anti-Islamic militias in Benghazi (East) and Tripoli (West). There are two main competing governments in Libya, one in Tobruk, headed by Abdullah al-Thani, that roots out of Tobruk’s House of representatives(HoR) located at al Bayda city in the (East). The other government roots out of the General National Congress (GNC) based in the capital Tripoli (West) and led by Khalifa al-Gwhaill. Moreover, a third government has joined the struggle of power in Libya which the UN-backed government, known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Serraj.