Foreigners enter Sidra oil field: Libyan oil company

Foreigners enter Sidra oil field: Libyan oil company

TRIPOLI- Anadolu Agency
Foreigners enter Sidra oil field: Libyan oil company

The head of Libya’s national oil company has said foreign forces entered the Sidra Oil Port in the east of the country and that they are working to make it a military center.

The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanallah late Sunday told Libya Al-Ahrar televised channel that the El Sharara oil field was occupied by the Russian security company Wagner's mercenaries 25 days ago.

Noting that the damage caused in the petroleum industry since 2012 was $231 billion, Sanallah said that Wagner militias should leave the region immediately.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country's new government was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Khalifa Haftar's forces.

The U.N. recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority in Tripoli.

The government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar in March to counter his attacks on the capital since April 2019, and recently liberated strategic locations including al-Watiya airbase and the city of Tarhuna, Haftar's final stronghold in western Libya.

Libya ‘will respond’ to airstrikes

Libya will respond to recent overnight airstrikes on strategically important Al-Watiya airbase, said Libya’s deputy defense minister.

Writing on social media, Salah Al-Namroush said the airstrikes by foreign fighter jets supporting “war criminal Khalifa Haftar” were a failed attempt to distract from recent victories by the Libyan Army.

On July 5, unidentified warplanes carried out airstrikes on Al-Watiya airbase west of Tripoli.

The attacks targeted equipment inside the base, including an air defense system and no casualties were reported.