Libya: new battle around the oil fields

Many in Libya consider that the militia offensive targeting the oil crescent since last Thursday would be a revenge for the Islamists of Derna.

The fighting in Derna opposes extremist Islamists to the forces of Khalifa Haftar, the strong man of eastern Libya. But the military has just sent some of its elite forces to the oil crescent.

While the international community deplores this attack, everything suggests that a new battle around the oil fields is imminent.
The control of oil fields is a big issue in Libya. More than eight battles have been fought in this region since 2013.

Mostapha Sonaallah, the president of the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC), warns since Vienna: if this situation persists, Libya could lose $900million a month (OPEC meeting is scheduled for June 22 and 23, and there will be talk of increasing production).

The forces that invaded the largest oil producing area in central Libya are led by Ibrahim Jadran. This militiaman was considered since 2013 as the enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya.

He has become today their ally. Both have a common enemy, Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his forces, the Libyan National Army(LNA).

The LNA spokesman accuses Qatar of being behind this attack: “It’s the same enemy we’re fighting in Derna as in the oil crescent,” he says, while accusing the attackers of belong to al-Qaeda.

As for Tarek Jarrouchi, a member of the Defense and Security Committee in Parliament, he goes further, accusing Doha, Ankara and even Rome of being involved in this affair. The goal, according to him, is to destroy the Paris agreement which provides for general elections before the end of the year.

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