The Libyan National Army (LNA) imposed “full control” on Libya’s biggest oil field, el-Sharara, Monday after elders of the southern region negotiated with groups opposed to the LNA’s seizure of the field, according to Commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion Ali Husseini.
“Our forces entered the oil field peacefully and without any clashes, and the groups who were controlling the field withdrew,” Husseini told 218TV.
He added that the LNA has held meetings to discuss means to secure Sharara’s sites.
The LNA, based in eastern Libya, launched an operation in the south on 15 January to fight militants and secure oilfields.
Last Wednesday, the LNA reached Sharara oilfield but did not land on the main field until Monday. Force of state guards and tribesmen has been squatting in the site since December, demanding the Libyan authorities to meet their basic needs in the largely neglected south.
Simultaneously, the internationally recognized government in Tripoli, led by Faiez Sarraj, sent its own commander, Ali Kena, to secure the field, which had formally belonged to the Tripoli administration.
However, Kena failed to take control of it, oil workers have said, according to Reuters.
In response to Sarraj’s government action, LNA warplanes struck targets near the el-Feel oilfield, located near Sharara oilfield in southwestern Libya on Saturday, a few days after Kena had been appointed as the new Commander of Sabha Military Region.