(MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)In the five years since the ouster of longtime strongman ruler Moammar Gadhafi, Libya has fractured into pieces. Today marked one of the heaviest days of fighting in multiple theaters within Libya over the past three years. Moreover, many of those tribal militias found support as proxies from Libya Dawn's Islamist militias. The vacuums created by the fighting between Libya Dawn and Operation Dignity forces enabled the Islamic State to gain a foothold in Sirte and use that city as a springboard for operations in western Libya that targeted Tripoli and Misrata. But countries with interests in North Africa, through support of various groups, still hope to achieve whatever they can in Libya.
Dignity Operation forces took control of Ras Lanuf oil port in central Libya on Tuesday following fierce clashes against forces of Petroleum Facilities Guard of UN-proposed government and Defense Benghazi Brigades. Dignity Operation forces launched an air and ground offensive on the port early in the day after losing it to Benghazi Defense Brigades on March 03, forcing PFG and BDB forces to retreat. Spokesperson of Dignity Operation Ahmed Al-Mismari said their forces managed to control Ras Lanuf and Sidra ports in addition to Ben Jawad town, but Petroleum Facilities Guard of UN-proposed government denied it and said clashes are ongoing around Sidra oil port. Notorious commander of Dignity Operation Ahmed Gharour, the man behind the attack on Colonel Faraj Al-Barasi’s farm in Bayda, was killed in the clashes.
Since early Tuesday, clashes have erupted in west Tripoli areas of Gurji, Hay Al-Andalus, Dreibi, Hay Al-Islami, Gergaresh, and Ghout Shaal. The clashes broke out between the residents of the areas backed up with forces of Tripoli security departments and Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade on one hand, and Misrata and Western Mountain brigades positioned in those areas. According to eyewitnesses, the forces of Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade and Tripoli security department stormed into Hay Al-Andalus and Gurji on Tuesday dawn and then clashes took place in a bid to push the armed groups out, leaving casualties from both sides and considerable material damage in the areas. Tripoli security department vowed Tuesday to cleanse the central Hay Al-Andalus area from the groups which are hindering the work of police and other security departments in the area. Until now, the security situation in the areas of the clashes is very dangerously tense as clashes have taken a break.
The Ministry of Finance released Monday a report about the number of Libya’s state workers and pay after matching them with the national ID number. The ministry report recorded between 1.400.000 and 1.505.859 state employees in 2016 with a payroll of LYD 1.506.975.980 billion per month. The report summarizes the functionality of the ministry’s national ID matching system, which was launched in 2015 with the aim to remove job duplication and redundancy. The ministry said it had entered around 2 million national ID numbers into the matching system and eliminated 100.000 dual jobs. The national ID matching system also discovered 15000 national ID numbers for seniors and retirees receiving government salaries in addition to their pension.
U.S. Justice Department seeks more time on Trump wiretap evidenceThe U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday it had asked for more time to respond to a request from lawmakers for evidence about President Donald Trump's allegation that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 election campaign. In response, the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting proof for the allegation by Monday. The Justice Department is not required to respond to the representatives’ request for evidence or meet its deadline. Republican Senator John McCain on Sunday called on Trump to provide evidence for his allegation or retract it. Comey has called on the Justice Department to deny the allegation, according to law enforcement sources.
Libya’s National Reconciliation Council has called on all Libyans to abandon violence and resort to peaceful solutions. In a statement, the council demanded an end to fighting in the oil crescent and called rival groups to engage in political talks to end the conflict. The council also stressed that return of IDPs to their homes is a legitimate right.
Prime Minister of east-based Interim Government, Abdullah Al-Thanni, has embarked on an urgent visit to Egypt that aims to rally support for Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan national army in the ongoing fight for the control of oil crescent. The media office of the government said Al-Thanni explained to the Egyptian officials “the truth about the terrorist organizations” that are attacking the oil crescent. He also held talks with the UN Panel of Experts on oil crescent incidents. The media office said he had told them that Benghazi Defense Brigades and Al-Qaida group, backed by the Presidency Council, were behind the attack on oil ports. He also called the UN to lift arms embargo on Libya to help so-called “Libyan National Army” defeat terrorism.
Airstrikes conducted by the warplanes of Khalifa Haftar-led Dignity Operation killed two of the Petroleum Facilities Guard's (PFG) personnel Sunday night, sources from the PFG reported. According to the sources, the air raids targeted Ras Lanuf oil terminal at the oil crescent, where the forces of the PFG of the UN-proposed government's Presidential Council are positioned. "We will request a no-fly zone from the international community to secure the Libyan source of living from the random shelling of Haftar's militias." Meanwhile, Boshra News Agency, the media arm of BDB, reported that Dignity Operation forces in Brega indiscriminately shelled Nofaliya town last night causing damage to civilians’ houses. The PFG took control of the oil terminals when the Benghazi defense Brigades handed them over after they had kicked out the forces of the Dignity Operation from the oil crescent region early this month.
"Libya's oil production has experienced a backlash hitting a bit over 615 thousand bpd after it had boomed over the last week." Libya's oil ports have been the arena of recent clashes between Benghazi Defense Brigades and the forces of Dignity Operation, which were pushed out of two oil terminals in the oil crescent region. On Sunday, Al-Okli said the shutdown of oil production from Al-Waha Company operated oilfields is the reason of the decreasing rates of production. "And Ras Lanuf oil terminal is no exception to Essidra's case." He added that it is highly likely that the NOC would declare the state of force majeure if the clashes around the oil terminals linger any longer.
Al-Ahli Tripoli has secured a precious win over the Moroccan Fath Union Sport at the CAf Champions League's second round of qualifiers. Al-Ahli Tripoli scored two goals in the match that was held at Tunisia's Al-Manzah Stadium on Sunday.
14 makeshift houses for Tawergha IDPs were completely destroyed after a major fire broke out at their camp on Sunday. The Local Council of Tawergha said no casualties were reported in the fire which left 14 families in the open air. “The fire was caused by an electrical short circuit,” member of the Local Council Abdulnabi Abu Arabah told Libya Panorama TV. The camp is located in Sidi Sayah district of Tripoli. The Local Council of Tawergha said it’s conducting contacts with state authorities to accommodate the 14 families.
House of Representatives members in favour of Libyan political agreement (LPA) held their first meeting in Tripoli on Sunday after hassles with anti-agreement MPs, a step that could split the Tobruk-based parliament into two and adds more bodies to already existing political rival institutions. MP Musbah Awhaida said it was a consultative meeting to discuss ways of reforming House of Representatives, which is dominated by pro-Dignity Operation, and speed up formation of a new dialogue committee. 38 pro-Dignity Operation MPs voted on March 07 in rejection of the Libyan political agreement in protest against the takeover of Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil ports by Benghazi Defense Brigades. The rejection was declared illegal by pro-Libyan political agreement and decided to move to Tripoli to hold their meetings freely. Another meeting is scheduled for March 15 to continue discussion on the reform of House of Representatives.
A statement issued by pro-Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) members of the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk has criticized the silence adopted by the authorities regarding the current escalation at the oil crescent region. "With the advent of the general command of the Libyan army, the oil crescent region has seen many kidnaps, forced disappearances, torture cases, and other crimes against the youth and the elderly." The HoR members indicated. They added that the acts conducted by the forces of the so-called army led by Khalifa Haftar in the oil crescent region are flagrant violations of the international laws and human rights. The statement of the HoR members adds.
Benghazi Defense Brigades has rejected the claims of Dignity Operation media outlets about the alleged beheading of two rival fighters in Ras Lanuf. Following the Beheading post, Dignity Operation Facebook pages were awash with photos of two slaughtered people claiming they are the two Dignity fighters. Benghazi Defense Brigades launched on March 03 “Return to Benghazi Military Operation” to facilitate the return of the city’s IDPs to their homes. However, Dignity Operation and its media outlets started a smearing campaign against Benghazi Defense Brigades accusing them of being Al-Qaida gunmen to urge the international community into supporting Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army. Related News:Leaked phone call for Dignity Operation officials scandalizes their media scams against BDBFormer ambassador flies to USA to drum up support for Dignity Operation
14 makeshift houses for Tawergha IDPs were completely destroyed after a major fire broke out at their camp on Sunday. _________________________________Al-Ahli Tripoli has secured a precious win over the Moroccan Fath Union Sport at the CAf Champions League's second round of qualifiers. ________________________________Benghazi Defense Brigades has rejected the claims of Dignity Operation media outlets about the alleged beheading of two rival fighters in Ras Lanuf. ________________________________The High National Election Commission (HNEC) said on Sunday it’s ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections to end the political deadlock in the country. More than 750 POS devices were installed in retail locations in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Zawiya.