This week was marked by the escalation of militia tensions in Western Libya, which resulted partly from last week’s political developments, while violent clashes took place in Eastern Libya as the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on May 8 its final assault on Islamist enclaves in Benghazi.
Libya has witnessed a surge in oil production from the lows of approximately 250,000 barrels/ day production in August 2016 to over 1 million barrels by mid 2017. This push in oil production has encouraged the appetite of international oil and gas and electricity companies, and initiated their return. Whispering Bell has been contracted to support the security requirements of multiple international Oil and Gas and electricity companies and successfully conducted multiple site security assessments, deployed security teams with international expat staff, and supported logistical arrangement for engineers to include desert passes, oil field flights, and secure accommodation.
This week was marked by the escalation of tensions around the Tamanhint airbase between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Third Force. On Apr 5, an LNA spokesperson announced that their forces which had been stationed near the Tamanhint airbase area for several days, were planning a ground offensive to take control of the base. This announcement was followed by a series of airstrikes conducted by LNA jets near the airbase. The UN-affiliated Presidency Council (PC) firmly condemned the LNA attacks and ordered the Third Force to repel future incursions. Following the PC's order, GNA-affiliated Misrata aircraft targeted Brak Al-Shati airbase (North of Sabha) on Apr 5, which is currently controlled by the LNA. Elements of the Third Force also clashed with LNA forces on the ground. Fighting renewed on Apr 7 and 8. Despite these clashes, only one casualty was reported among the ranks of the Third Force by Apr 10. Observers suggest that violence in southern Libya will likely escalate as both sides reinforce their positions by switching manpower and assets from other conflict zones in the country. In response to the increased tensions in the south, the GNA Ministry of Defense has announced the establishment of the "Al-Amal Al-Mooad Operation", which aims to rout the LNA from southern Libya and weaken local brigades who have aligned themselves with General Haftar.