Libya Situation Update: 21–25 January

  1. 21 JAN: IS fighters attacked the Ras Lanuf oil terminal, clashing with Petroleum Field Guard forces and destroying a pipeline originating in the Amal Oil Field and setting several oil storage tanks alight. Sources report that between five and seven tanks have been destroyed. Contrary to previous reporting, NOC sources claim that oil was not transferred from those tanks due to interference by the PFG. IS did not attempt to seize the facility, but merely caused damage with indirect fire. (al-Wasat)(Twitter) (Twitter)(Libya Observer)(Akhbar Libya 24)(al-Wasat)(Libya’s Channel)

2. 21 JAN: LNA and Operation Dignity Spokesman, Mohammed al-Hijazi, reportedly defected from the LNA, delivering a speech lambasting General Khalifa Haftar for corruption, destruction, and the ongoing bloodshed in Benghazi. The head of the LNA Air Force, Saqr al-Jaroushi, released a video statement condemning Hijazi’s statement, blaming it on bitterness for having been suspended from his position last week, and dismissing his claims as lies. The Tawhid al-Salafiya Battalion and other forces on in Benghazi also released video statements condemning Hijazi, and reiterating their support for Haftar. An LNA statement additionally claimed that Hijazi had been dismissed from his post due to misleading statements he made several months ago about the LNA shooting down a Libya Dawn helicopter near Tripoli. The LNA has allegedly issued an arrest warrant for Hijazi. (Mohammed al-Hijazi Statement)(Libya Observer)(al-Wasat)(al-Wasat)(Libya Herald)(Saqr al-Jaroushi Statement)(Tawhid al-Salafiya Statement)(West Axis LNA Statement)(Afrigate)(LNA Statement)(Libyan News 1)(LNA Statement)(Afrigate)

3. 22–25 JAN: LNA aircraft conducted air strikes on the Industrial Neighborhood of Ajdabiya as fighting between LNA-allied 21st Border Guards Battalion and local fighters against ASC/IS forces continued in the vicinity of Istanbul Street. On 25 January, the Ajdabiya Shura Council claimed to have retaken the 18 Gate from the LNA 21 Border Guards. The gate, southeast of the city, was secured by the LNA on 10 JAN. (Twitter)(Akhbar Libya 24)

4. 22 JAN: The hardline Islamist al-Kani Brigade, led by GNC MP Ahmed Assadi, clashed with local families of the al-Naa’ajar Tribe opposed to the group in Tarhouna, south of Tripoli. The al-Kani Brigade allegedly destroyed the homes of its opponents, with as many as 3 killed, and an unconfirmed number of tribal sheikhs kidnapped. (Libya Herald)(Libyan News 1)

5. 24 JAN: Zintan signed a reconciliation agreement with the city of Zanzour, committing to end partisan attacks and identity-based arrests. (Libya Observer)

6. 23 JAN: A sniper killed Abdullah Hamad al-Libi, a senior IS leader in the city of Sirte, as he left a mosque following evening prayer. This is the latest in a string of anti-IS attacks in the city, indicating that a level of opposition remains despite the brutal IS crackdown. (al-Wasat)

7. 24 JAN: A number of elders from Eastern Libya met with General Khalifa Haftar in Marj and pledged their support to him, while rejecting the GNA. (Libya Herald)(Facebook)

8. 25 JAN: Omar Mazek, a senior member of the 3rd Force, was abducted in al-Shati in South Libya. A convoy of vehicles from Misrata headed south in response. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Ben Nile tribe was involved in the kidnapping. (Libya Observer)(Fezzan Libya Media Group)(Third Force Facebook)

9. 25 JAN: The HoR voted on the Skhirat Agreement and the proposed 32-minister Government of National Accord, with 89 of 104 members in attendance rejecting the current GNA cabinet. However, the HoR members voted 97 to 7 in favor of the Skhirat Agreement, but rejected Article 8 of Annex 8 in the Additional Provisions of the deal, which calls on all military posts to become vacated within 20 days of the deals signing, effectively requiring General Khalifa Haftar to step down. The HoR demanded that a new cabinet be formed within 10 days, with only 17 ministers. (Libya’s Channel)(BBC)(Libya’s Channel)(AFP)(Libya 24 TV)(al-Wasat)(Fezzan Libya Media Group)(Associated Press)(Twitter)(Twitter)(Twitter)

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