Conflicts continuing in Libya, between Tripoli and Tobruck Militants in Sabri have blown up a second road bridge in an apparent effort to reinforce their positions in the besieged Benghazi enclave. According to the Libyan National Army overnight yesterday explosives were used to bring down a span of a bridge to the east of the district. According to population, the explosion isn’t due to an airstrike, but due to an explosion prepared on the ground. However, since 48h, Sabri and the smaller militnt enclave of Suq Al-Hout, are bombed by Haftar army.
Tensions between East and West Libya. Fighters with psychiatric disorder are fighting alongside Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army, the commander of Al-Saiqa Forces Wanis Bu Khamada has declared, while he was addressing a tribal group to give excuses for the shocking videos of crimes committed by the army in Benghazi. The polemic is also on war crimes commited last week by General Haftar and his army. Indeed, on the social networks we can see a video showing the General saying : “All weapons are allowed, no mercy, don’t take prisoners, we have no prisons here, the battlefield is the battlefield”, a clear incitation to the violence.
Italy has evacuated 22 Libyans wounded these last days during the conflict around Ras-Lanuf and Es-Sider, which has seen the control passing from BDB (Bengazhy Defence Brigade) to LNA (Libyan National Army). Those Libyans had been transferred in Rome, to be treated in the military hospital. It was the first time Italy had helped the wounded from the LNA, which supports the Tobruk parliament and not the rival U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. Since 2016, Italy did some other flights as this one. Italy and EU are involved in the resolution of the Libyan conflict, they have signed with Tripoli an agreement to fight human trafficking and pledged to fund migrant camps in Libya and to train Libyan coast guard to control migration flux.
The situation in the Oil crescent stay conflictual. A senior official at Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Monday of a possible declaration of force majeure at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals, as air strikes continued and rival forces mobilised fighters in the area. Due to air strikes committed by LNA (Libyan National Army) a large part of workers have left the industry. The effective control of the exploitation isn’t so clear. Oil is no longer being pumped to Es Sider, forcing Waha Oil Co to halt production and also affecting output by Harouge Oil Operations. In one hand the GNA (Government of National Accord) at Tripoli asks for a stabilization under the NOC, in an other hang General Haftar (LNA) has deployed in emergency 600 men to support the Petroleum Facilities Guard in the Oil Crescent. So, the situation is still not stabilize and the production decrease could have an important impact on Libyan’s economy, and maybe a global rise of oil’s price, so consequences at the international level.
Egypt is trying to play is role as “peace maker” in the region. Since recent events which took place in the oil crescent Libya seems paralysed.The announcement came as some 73 House of Representatives (HoR) members boycotted discussions to elect a committee to the UN-brokered dialogue. Angry over the capture of the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil terminals from the Libyan National Army (LNA) by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), they want to whole UN-led process to be dumped. However, one evolution need to be notice, Egyptian report didn’t mention LNA, strangely because Egypt was one of the support of LNA. This omission could be interpreted as an Egyptian frustration in front of the LNA’s refusal to meet Sarraj last month in Cairo.
There are reports this evening that the Libyan National Army has retaken Ras Lanuf from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and is now heading toward Sidra 16 kilometres to the west. Since yesterday’s successful assault by the BDB on Ras Lanuf and its neighbouring export terminal at Sidra, the LNA has been rushing forces to the oil crescent. Meanwhile, overnight and today there has been a series of air raids. The LNA claimed that the aircraft had targeted BDB vehicles but it appears that buildings were also hit in Ras Lanuf. At least 15 soldiers have been killed in the last 48 hours and ten are known to be wounded. Dead and injured have been taken to Magarief hospital in Ajdabiya. There are no casualty figures for BDB fighters. The LNA is claiming that some of its soldiers were executed after being captured. It has produced images of four corpses all wearing some form of battle dress. Two have clearly received wounds to the head. None of them had had their hands bound. The main LNA counterattack, code-named “Crushing Lightning” was launched from Brega. The town’s university had been evacuated overnight.
Russia wants to have a leading role in the reconstruction of Libya. The Kremlin has meet the Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez Al-Sarraj, leader of the GNA (Government of National Accord) which is recognize as the legal representant of Libya at an international level. However, the Kremlin had met in November General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of Libyan National Army (LNA), who control a part of Tripoli and have an increasing influence on the East Libya.