27 November – 3 December 2019: Heavy clashes targeting al-Feel oil field

Dec 4, 2019 | Libyan actors

The Libyan National Army (LNA) maintained its aerial dominance over Tripoli, while the Government of National Accord (GNA) did not launch any aerial attacks. The LNA undertook aerial attacks on the southern Tripoli frontlines, particularly in and around Ghariyan, Aziziya, and Swani. This coincides with reports that the LNA is now utilizing attack helicopters in Tripoli.

The LNA also launched air attacks on Tripoli’s western and southern periphery. On 30 November, the LNA undertook aerial attacks targeting the National Mobile Force based along the Coast Road near the Tripoli West Power Station. Likewise, on 30 November, the LNA launched an aerial attack on a civilian airstrip south of Kabaw in the Nafousa Mountains, with no significant damage occurring.

On 27 November, a contingent of the loosely Government of National Accord (GNA) aligned Southern Protection Force (SPF) and the local GNA-aligned Petroleum Facility Guards (PFG) unit launched a coordinated attack on the al-Feel oilfield, located around 160 km west of Murzuq. The attack targeted the Libyan National Army (LNA)-affiliated Darfuri mercenaries guarding the oilfield, resulting in several casualties and the theft of a number of armed vehicles. By the evening of 27 November, the SPF/PFG were forced to withdraw to Tessawa farm, 40km west of Murzuq, following intense clashes with the local LNA-aligned forces.

The United Nations Mission Support in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed ”grave concerns” over the violence at al-Feel and called for an immediate cessation of military operations. Later on 27 November, following the SPF’s move on al-Feel, a group of Tuareg LNA-affiliated PFG fighters in Awbari stormed into the headquarters of the commander of the GNA’s Southern Military Region, Ali Kanna.

On 28 November, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed that following the cessation of military activity at the al-Feel oil field, production had resumed. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said that Libya’s oil and gas fields must not be treated as military targets and that fighting in the vicinity of oil facilities forces the NOC to cease production, in order to ensure the safety of employees.