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LNA Spokesman to Asharq Al-Awsat: Qatar Responsible for Libya’s Crises

LNA Spokesman to Asharq Al-Awsat: Qatar Responsible for Libya’s Crises

Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 - 06:30
Smoke and flames rise from an oil storage tank that was set on fire amid fighting between rival factions at Ras Lanuf terminal, Libya, June 18, 2018. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
The Libyan National Army reiterated on Tuesday its accusations that Qatar was behind Libya’s crises, the most recent of which was the attack on the oil crescent.

LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We reject the interference of any illegitimate foreign or local forces in the region.”

He also condemned the recent statements by the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood to incite National Accord Government Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to seek foreign assistance.

“We reject such illegal intervention,” Mismari added. “The inciters want to reinforce their militias in the oil crescent through state-sponsors of terrorism.”

Qatar “is a sponsor of terrorism in Libya,” he charged, citing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood figures who have led the attack on the oil region. It also supports remaining members of al-Qaeda and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya.

Militia leader Ibrahim al-Jadhran is a members of the al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, which is also involved in the oil crescent attack.

Qatar has provided his group with weapons and ammunition, Mismari stressed.

Mohammed Sawan, head of the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, had on Tuesday spoken of the possibility of resorting to foreign intervention to tackle the crisis in the oil region.

He called on the presidential council to assume its duties and contain the crisis to protect the livelihood of the Libyan people.

Sawan also chose not to take sides between the LNA and Jadhran militias, saying: “Our stance from them does not need a clarification… Our course is clear and it is based on adhering to the political agreement regardless of the obstacles in its way.”

Meanwhile, head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanalla said that the country lost some 400,000 barrels of oil as a result of the armed attacks on Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra.

Mismari told Asharq Al_Awsat that the militias that attacked Ras Lauf are constantly being targeted in air raids.

“An infantry unit is being prepared to settle the unrest,” he revealed.

On Derna where the LNA has been waging an offensive to rid eastern Libya of last remaining terrorists, he stressed: “Victory is near.”

The battles are now ongoing in the last terrorist pocket in an area called Souk al-Zalam, he stated.

Amid these developments, security and local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that forces loyal to the Sarraj government were reinforcing their positions near Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport and other areas in the capital.

The security directorate in Tripoli issued a statement on Tuesday warning against attempts to enter the city by force, stressing that all military and security forces will stand against sides that follow agendas that do not seek the nation’s interest.

It spoke of “suspicious activity and attempts to achieve petty interests from political conflicts and to destabilize the capital.”

A security source in Tripoli expressed concern over the eruption of new rounds of violence between militias that are vying for power in the capital.

The Sarraj government has, meanwhile, not commented on the developments.

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