The situation surrounding Libya’s various government and other factions continues to grow more complicated all the time, with reports over the weekend that Libyan Army forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter have attacked and captured multiple oil ports formerly controlled by the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) and the UN-backed unity government.
The PFG are designed wholly around protecting oil facilities, but the unity government has recently been using them in US-backed offensive operations. It appears this may be limiting their effectiveness in being able to guard facilities, though Hifter’s Army clearly is substantially armed itself. The indications are that the PFG ceded the sites more or less immediately.
This is also likely to raise questions about where US loyalties in the country lie, as the fighting is ultimately between the UN-backed unity government, which the US is supporting in Sirte, and Hifter, who himself is a longstanding CIA asset who is supposed by the UN-backed Tobruk parliament.
In ideal circumstances, Libya is a world power in oil exports, with exports of 1.6 million barrels per day. In practice, since the NATO-imposed regime change, they’ve never managed more than a small fraction of that actually exported, and no one has been able to control the entire production cycle from wells deep inland to the coastal export ports.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Red Cross to Send 'Test Shipment' of Rice to Northern Yemen - August 16th, 2017
- Report: Saudis Increasing Yemen Airstrikes, Killing More Civilians - August 16th, 2017
- US: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Fail to Respect Religious Freedom - August 16th, 2017
- In US-Backed Kurdish Invasion of Raqqa, Arab Allies Struggle to Find a Role - August 16th, 2017
- Syria Shifts War Focus to ISIS-Held Eastern Territory - August 16th, 2017