04:17 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Libyan oil field

    Daesh Surges Towards Libyan Oil Fields

    © AFP 2019 / Abdullah Doma
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    The head of the Libyan armed forces has called for the deployment of warplanes in an attempt to stem the surge of violence and destruction at the hands of Daesh militants who are making progress towards the country's main oil field in Sidra.

    It follows days of bombardment in the East of Libya and a suicide bomb attack on a police training camp near the headquarters of the internationally recognized government's base in Tripoli. Hospital sources have told Reuters that a truck carrying explosives has killed 65 people in Zliten.

    ​The attack, confirmed by the Tripoli government's bureau for media affairs, was caused by a suicide bomber and has been attributed to Daesh — but the group, also known as Islamic State, has not yet claimed responsibility.

    United National envoy to Libya, Marin Kobler, has condemned the attacks: 

    ​Libya remains split by rival factions and rebel groups following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi by NATO troops in 2011. A civil war broke out between the official government in the east and its rival group in the west.

    ​Since August 2015, the only internationally recognized government has been forced to operate from Tobruk after Daesh captured Tripoli. By the end of 2015, Daesh issued a decree stating that the coastal town of Sirte was now governed by "the caliphate".

    Italian newspaper, La Stampa, reports that Daesh is continuing to make significant progress towards the country's main oil field at Sidra. According to the report, General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan armed forces said Islamist fighters were 50 kilometers away from the port following a bombardment of another oil plant at Hindia. He said the whole of Libya was in danger if Daesh made progress beyond Ras Lanuf.

    ​La Stampa reports that Daesh is attempting to capture the entire coastal region along with its oil reserves between Sirte and Sidra. A situation, the newspaper suggests that could trigger armed intervention from Europe with Italy at the forefront. 

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    Middle East, Oil, NATO, oil fields, NATO military presence, government, conflict, war, troops, Daesh, UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Muammar Gaddafi, Libya
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