Libya's LNA Sends Troops South

Khalifa Haftar, commander of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) on 15 January announced an operation to “secure” water, oil and gas facilities in the country’s lawless southwest.

Mr Haftar, the de facto leader of Libya’s unrecognized rival government, already controls major oil fields and export terminals in the east ( MEES, 13 July 2018 ). His latest move suggests he eyes control over the 73,000 b/d El Feel and Libya’s largest producing field, El Sharara, which has seen around 315,000 b/d shut-in since 9 December due to repeated security breaches ( MEES, 14 December 2018 ).

A four-month UN-brokered ceasefire collapsed this week as rival militias clashed following a dispute over the control of Tripoli International Airport, which had been set to be reopened this year. The clashes have killed 10, pitting the powerful ‘Tripoli Protection Force’ against the unit recently tasked with the airport’s security, the ‘7th Brigade’. (CONTINUED - 143 WORDS)