Libya’s oil out put is at risk after an armed faction stormed into two major oil ports on Friday.
The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia not allied to the UN-backed unity government, took control of the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals that were re-opened in September.
They have been under the control of the eastern -based Libyan National Army (LNA), led by military commander Khalifa Haftar. His spokesperson confirmed the take over.
“The enemy has used armoured trucks to breach the first line of defence this morning at 8AM. Defence forces moved towards Al-Sedra Port but retreated and the enemy continued attacking. The Central Operation Room decided to retreat as to not inflict any damage on the oil port especially the large factories in Ras Lanuf and the families in the residential areas,” said Ahmed Al Masmary.
The ports are Libya’s largest with a potential combined production capacity of 600,000 barrels per day.
Reports indicate that at least nine men loyal to the LNA were killed and eight others wounded in the ambush.
The Benghazi Defense Brigades are composed partly of fighters who were ousted from Benghazi by Haftar’s troops.