Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud : The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced Monday that it had thwarted a surprise attack on the southern el-Sharara oilfield, as it continued its steady advance on Tripoli.
The state oil company National Oil Corporation (NOC) said unknown gunmen fired a rocket propelled grenade at a control station of the El Sharara oilfield. Guards at the site eventually repelled the attackers, an oil engineer there told Reuters.
There were no casualties among oil workers and production was unaffected, the NOC said in a statement.
In Tripoli, the LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, captured more territories as it continued its march on the capital against the forces of Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA).
Some of the fiercest fighting in the four weeks since the LNA kicked off its operation on Tripoli were reported Monday.
Military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that LNA units breached the GNA defenses in the Salaheddine, al-Hira, al-Kassarat and Bir Allaq areas.
LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said that the army seized several areas as it marched on the heart of the capital.
LNA media said that the forces were advancing steadily amid a complete collapse of morale among terrorist militia ranks on all Tripoli fronts.
Amid the successive losses on the ground, Sarraj turned to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who expressed his support to the GNA chief.
Sarraj quoted Erdogan as saying that Turkey “will spare no effort in confronting the conspiracy against the Libyan people.”
The two officials had held telephone talks on Sunday.
There can be no military solution to the crisis in Libya, added Erdogan.
The eastern-based foreign ministry slammed Erdogan’s statements, deeming them a threat to the region.
It accused Ankara of “flagrant” meddling in Libyan affairs “through its support of terrorist and extremist groups.”
The government and LNA will not waver in recapturing the capital, restoring it to the national fold and ridding it of terrorism, it vowed.
Moreover, it called on Erdogan to cease his meddling in Libyan internal affairs, noting: “The not too distant past has taught us that Turkey’s involvement in the affairs of neighboring countries and the Middle East has only brought destruction.”
Mismari had on Sunday accused Qatar and Turkey of supporting terrorist and armed gangs in Tripoli.