US, Allies condemn Operation Dignity’s attack on Libya oil fields

A general view of the entrance to Zueitina oil terminal in Zueitina, west of Benghazi April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

The US, the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain and France issued a joint statement on Monday condemning the Khalifa Haftar-led Dignity Operation attack on oil ports in the oil crescent region on Sunday, calling on both parties to immediately cease fire and stop any violent acts that can destroy or sabotage the facilities plunging Libya into a dilemma regarding ever exporting oil again.

In a statement issued on the official website of the US State Department, western powers called on the Dignity Operation forces to withdraw from the oil crescent region without conditions saying oil is owned by all Libyans and the Presidential Council of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) is the only legitimate guardian of those oil facilities and terminals.

“We could use the UN Security Council resolution (2259) against the attackers on the state institutions as the resolution vows punishment for those who threaten to destroy or vandalize any sovereign state institution and threaten to crack the unity and fabric of any state.”

On Sunday, the Dignity Operation forces attacked the oil crescent region and announced, through the spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari, that it had taken control of Ras Lanuf, Essidra, Brega, and Al-Zueitina oil ports from the grip of Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) forces led by Ibrahim Jodran.

Conflicting news, however, said that clashes between the two parties are still ongoing till Tuesday morning and some reports said the PFG have retaken some of the ports that were lost to Dignity Operation forces.

Like western countries, the Presidential Council of the GNA also denounced the attack on the oil terminals and issued a statement calling on the defense minister of the GNA, Mihdi Al-Barghathi to thwart the assault and hinder the Dignity forces from obtaining Libyans’ oil ports, adding that there are foreign fighters, mainly from Sudanese Justice and Equality rebel movement, and Chad, who are fighting alongside Dignity forces to try and control the main resources of the Libyan state and people.

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