Libya air strikes target militia attacking key oil ports

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JOHANNESBURG, June 19 – Libyan forces carried out air strikes against a militia attacking key oil ports in the east, as Libya’s national oil firm warned on Monday of further damage to oil infrastructure, as well as environmental contamination in the North African country, AP reported.

The militia, led by Ibrahim Jadhran, who opposes the self-styled Libyan National Army commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, attacked the oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr on Thursday, forcing Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) to suspend exports and evacuate its employees.

Libya’s Harouge Oil Operations Company said two of five oil tankers had been lost after Thursday’s clashes broke out, destroying over 400,000 barrels of crude oil.

The NOC further confirmed the loss of tankers in Ras Lanuf oil terminal and the drop in storage capacity from 950,000 to 550,000 oil barrels.

It also reiterated the fear of an environmental disaster in the oil crescent region, culminating in destroyed infrastructure which would render the port non-operational even if the fighting ends.

– African News Agency (ANA)