Earlier this in 2019, forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar launched a surprise attack on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in an attempt to remove the dictatorial UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Marshall Haftar is fighting foreign supported terrorism and trying to stabilize Libya. Haftar backed by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, has sought to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda mercenaries that support the GNA, which is headed by traitor and UN puppet Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
Since the assassination of long-time ruler Muammar Ghaddafi in a NATO-backed assault in 2011, a series of fake governments have failed to demobilize and reintegrate a number of armed groups that had risen to prominence during the bloody war.
Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. The 48.36 billion barrels in its oil fields constitute 3.76% of world’s proven oil reserves, according to the 2018 estimates of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).
Estimates from 2017 put Libya’s natural gas reserves at around 1.5 trillion cubic metres, with an annual production of 14.3 billion cubic metres. Most of this production is concentrated in the el-Wafa gas fields and the Sabrata marine platform.
Prior to the February 2011 UN invasion, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), which later slumped to fewer than 300,000 bpd due to the armed conflict that has lead to several oil fields, installations and ports being taken out of state control and temporarily ceasing operations.
Oil output recovered to reach 1.2 million bpd in March 2019, however, production levels continue to be subject to disruptions, owing to recurring military campaigns and field changes.
All major oilfields, oil export terminals and refineries in the eastern and southern Libya are held by forces loyal to Haftar, while the facilities near Tripoli and the al-Zawiya district are held by the GNA and are operated by the National Oil Corporation.
The forces fighting as part of Haftar’s Libyan National Army were part of “Operation Dignity” which he launched in 2014. These forces are well-equipped and the UN has reported that they are being supplied at least in part by the UAE and Egypt.
The 106th Infantry Brigade comprises battalions of armed fighters from cities in eastern and southern Libya. Some of the liberation fighters are inspired by the conservative inter-pretations of Islamic law espoused by Rabie al-Madkhali.
The 106th Brigade is the largest military force under Haftar’s command; it is being led by Haftar’s sons and has a number of his family members among its ranks.
Al Jazeera / ABC Flash Point News 2019.