East Libyan Forces Attack Chad Troops Near Southwest Oilfields

Hafter forces aim to reclaim valuable oil production site

The self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), run by the self-proclaimed Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter has reported it attacked Chadian military forces in southwestern Libya, as part of trying to claim a valuable oilfield.

The attack on Chad’s forces involved airstrikes and the deployment of Mi-35 attack helicopters. Chad has yet to confirm this report. This is the latest of several strikes against the El Feel oilfield.

Having chased rivals away from the oilfield, the LNA forced production to halt there. Libyan oil officials say that they are in the process of restarting, and believe the facility suffered only minor damage.

Oil is very nearly the whole of Libya’s economy, and a lot of the fighting, particularly in the south and along the coast, is about trying to control as much of it as possible. The LNA controls much of it.

Yet the constant fighting over oil production has meant a lot of temporary shutdowns and damage, and exports are still nowhere near pre-war levels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.