Libyan forces claim control of oil crescent despite renewed fighting

File photo showing smoke and flame rise from an oil storage tank that was set on fire during clashes at Ras Lanuf terminal, the oil crescent, Libya, June 18, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 21 June 2018
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Libyan forces claim control of oil crescent despite renewed fighting

  • The Libyan army spokesperson said that “our orders are to end the militia’s presence in the oil crescent once and for all.”
  • Seven members of Libya’s armed forces were killed in renewed fighting around the port of Ras Lanuf.

LONDON: Seven members of Libya’s armed forces were killed in renewed fighting around the port of Ras Lanuf.
The official spokesman for the Libyan National Army confirmed that army units are in control of the entire oil crescent region but sent units to mop up opposition forces who gathered west of the region.
Col. Ahmed Al-Mesmari said, in an interview on Al-Arabiya Channel, that Libyan army units continue their operation against Al-Jadran militia and their allies south of Nofaliah and in the area known as KM60 east of the city of Sirte.
Al-Mesmari added the army units have been chasing the militants since taking over unit one of the ‘Ras Lanuf’ oil compound. Al-Mesmari revealed also that the militias left behind huge quantities of weapons, ammunition, and vehicles in addition to several prisoners.
The Libyan army spokesperson added that “our orders are to end the militia’s presence in the oil crescent once and for all.”
Earlier, the Libyan army chief of staff General Khalifah Haftar declared in an audio recording that the objective of his units is to liberate the oil crescent from militia control and to return the vital oil installation to the country’s economy.
General Haftar also said that he holds the leader of the local militia in the oil crescent Ibrahim Al-Jadran responsible for the latest clashes.
Al-Jadran has defied all Libyan administrations since the ousting of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, in 2011.
Al-Jadran also succeeded in the past in halting all oil exports from the oil crescent areain Libya until his forces were routed by the army, in 2016.


Turkey tells US not to leave power vacuum in Syria withdrawal

Updated 2 min 16 sec ago
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Turkey tells US not to leave power vacuum in Syria withdrawal

  • ‘We reminded our partners that there should be no vacuum of power in any way during the withdrawal’
  • Trump had ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops Syria in December after saying they had defeated Daesh militants in Syria

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s defense minister told Pentagon officials there must not be a vacuum of power during the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.
A senior US administration official said on Friday Washington would leave about 400 US troops split between two Syrian regions, a reversal by President Donald Trump that could pave the way for US allies to keep troops in Syria.
“We reminded our partners that there should be no vacuum of power in any way during the withdrawal,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Anadolu, describing his talks in the United States with acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
Trump had ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops in December after saying they had defeated Daesh militants in Syria. The abrupt decision sparked an outcry from allies and US lawmakers.
But he was persuaded on Thursday that about 200 US troops would join what is expected to be a total commitment of some 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies to set up and observe a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, the US administration official said.
Akar also said he repeated call for Kurdish YPG militia fighters, which Ankara regards as terrorists, to be removed from the “safe zone,” which Turkey wants to control.