Eastern Libyan forces foil rival faction’s advance on oil ports: officials

Mideast Libya Militia Economy

From Reuters:

“Eastern Libyan forces said they thwarted an attempted advance on some of Libya’s major oil ports on Wednesday, hitting a rival faction with air strikes and capturing some of its commanders.

The violence raised the prospect of a fresh struggle for control of the oil ports and for overall power between the many armed factions in anarchic Libya that have competed with each other in shifting alliances since a 2011 uprising.

It came a day after forces led by brigades from the western city of Misrata completed a seven-month battle to oust Islamic State militants from their erstwhile North African stronghold in Sirte, the hometown of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi and less than 200 km (125 miles) northwest of the oil ports.

A spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), as the eastern forces are known, said rival fighters had withdrawn after briefly occupying the town of Ben Jawad, 30 km (19 miles) west of the port of Es Sider, and were being pursued in the surrounding area.”

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