'Disaster' seen as Libyan oil facility burns
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) is warning of an "environmental disaster" following clashes at the country's Ras Lanuf oil terminal that set storage tanks of the Harouge Oil Company on fire. "Further damage to these oil sites could have a huge impact on the Libyan oil sector and the national economy," the statement said. The chief of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, Ibrahim Jadran, launched a military operation in Libya's "oil crescent" last week to take the Ras Lanuf and Sidra terminals from Operation Dignity militia forces. Jadran called Operation Dignity “a terrorist entity.” Operation Dignity and the affiliated "Libyan National Army," led by commander Khalifa Haftar, are loyal to Libya's unrecognized eastern government. (Al Jazeera, June 18; Libya Observer, June 16)
Libyan oil production has been repeatedly paralyzed by unrest since the fall of dictator Moammar Qaddafi in 2011.
The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced June 14 that it had carried out an air-strike 50 miles southeast of Bani Walid, in Libya's west. The strike, undertaken "in coordination with the Libyan Government of National Accord " targeted a position of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and supposedly left one militant dead.. (Libya Herald, June 16)