LNA Seeks to Hand Over ‘Oil Crescent’ to Terminal Guards

LNA Seeks to Hand Over ‘Oil Crescent’ to Terminal Guards

Saturday, 23 June, 2018 - 08:15
Members of the Libyan National Army are seen next to Sidra oil port in Ras Lanuf, Libya June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud
Libyan National Army Spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari confirmed on Friday that the LNA had regained full control of the oil crescent region following a 40-minute operation against the militias led by Ibrahim Jadhran.

The Army’s media office said that LNA chief Khalifa Haftar had ordered the resumption of operations at the key oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, and the return of staff to work.

Haftar is likely to hand over the security of the ports to the oil terminals’ guard unit, sources said.

LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said Thursday that the Army only suffered 10 casualties in the 40-minute offensive to recapture the oil export terminals.

He said it was the sixth time that militias have tried to control the oil crescent region.

“The Army will pursue the terrorists that have escaped from the oil crescent and will not stop” until they are detained, said Mesmari.

The Army will not allow intruders to tamper with the area which is the source of strength for all Libyans, warned the spokesman.

A medical source revealed to China’s Xinhua news agency that 16 Libyan Army soldiers were killed and 20 others injured in the clashes.

Meanwhile, survivors have reported that about 220 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya in the last few days while trying to reach Europe, putting the death toll this year on that route to more than 1,000, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The Libyan coast guard, meanwhile, picked up 762 migrants trying to reach Italy in rubber boats during the past two days alone, Reuters quoted its spokesman as saying.

Only five people survived the capsizing of a boat carrying 100 people on Tuesday, while the same day a rubber craft with 130 passengers sank, leading to 70 people drowning, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

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