Fresh fighting erupted early Sunday between forcers loyal to Libya’s UN backed unity government and those aligned to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who backs the rival eastern government.
Breaking News: Oil storage tank catches fire in Sidra oil port as fierce clashes between Khalifa Haftar and Ibrahim Jodran militias continue— The Libya Observer (@Lyobserver) September 18, 2016
The two sides are fighting for contorl over key oil ports based in the east.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) launched an offensive this morning and our forces) are fighting them in Ras Lanuf,” said Mohamad Ibset, a spokesman for the rival force commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
The PFG, which is loyal to the unity government based in Tripoli, said it had launched counterattacks on two of the oil ports.
“We attacked Al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf, and Haftar’s forces are trying to hit us with their warplanes,” spokesman Ali al-Hassi told AFP.
The renewed clashes halted loading of what would have been the first overseas crude shipment from the port of Ras Lanuf since 2014.
Libya is seeking to boost crude exports after fighting among rival militias slashed oil production following the 2011 ouster it’s former ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.