Libya "Losing Control of Oil Fields to Jihadists"

Oil installations’ guards exported a 700,000-barrel shipment

Libyan oil and gas workers union has claimed that elements guarding the oil installations in the al-Hilal region has illegally exported a 700,000-barrel shipment to a certain company.

Although Libyan PM Ali Zaidan threatened to bomb oil tankers and intervene militarily if armed groups decide to sell Libyan oil illegally, news from Libya indicates that groups loyal to Ghaithi have tightened their control over several oil facilities, which may force the Libyan government into an armed confrontation to recover these facilities, especially since Ghaithi has announced the formation of a unified force to defend the federal province. So Libya is threatened with civil war over who will control the oil fields.

That is happening at a time when Libya is in security chaos in light of the country’s inability to form a unified national army that can extend its control on the ground. There are many armed groups, each loyal to a different leader. Libya is politically unstable and two interior ministers have been forced to resign within a short time. Interior Minister Ashour Shuail has submitted his resignation to Zaidan. Before him, Interior Minister Sheikh also resigned after he accused the prime minister of interfering in his affairs. Within all that lawlessness, there were news reports on Aug. 19 that a resigned Libyan judge, Muftah al-Khafifi, was shot dead by an unidentified armed group in Benghazi.

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