Oil markets on edge as military clash looms in Libya
By Dr. Cyril Widdershoven – Berry Commodities – Global Head of Strategy & Risk
Libya is heading for a military showdown as East Libyan strongman General Haftar has initiated a full confrontation with the UN-backed West-Libyan GNA Al Serraj government, based in Tripoli. After prolonged military operations in Eastern and Southern Libya, Haftar?s forces and militant groups, all combined under the LNA (Libyan National Army) are now heading to Libya?s former capital Tripoli. For months, the LNA has experienced success after success, removing not only extremist Islamic terrorist groups hiding in remote regions of Libya but also taking full control of most the country?s only real revenue generator, its oil and gas fields. Haftar has been long been preparing for this last showdown in Tripoli.
Backed by several Arab countries, such as Egypt and the UAE, with tacit support (both military and political) from Russia, Haftar gave the order to take Tripoli on Wednesday. LNA troops have taken several major cities around Tripoli, encircling Libya?s capital. The international community, led by the UN, is feverishly trying to quell the risk of a full-scale military confrontation between the two parties, with the scheduled elections now having been cancelled. France, Italy, the UK and even Russia have stated that a military solution is to the crisis in Libya is out of the question. The leader of the GNA, Al Serraj, officially backed by the UN and Western countries, can only rely on military support from the Misrata militias, Turkey and Qatar.