Map shows the strategic oil ports that have been controlled by the national army on Sunday 11 September 2016.
Benghazi— In a lightening, well prepared and well-coordinated assault, the Libyan National Army lead by General Khalifa Haftar on Sunday seized the three strategic oil ports of Ras Lanuf, Sidra and Brega from the outlaw militias that have controlled the facilities since 2013.
The spokesman of the Libyan army, Colonel Ahmed al-Messmari, told reporters Sunday that the army seized control of these ports and have tightened siege around the port of Zueitina and the nearby city of Ajdabiya.
There are reports that the outlaw Ibrahim Jadhran, a militia leader and self-appointed head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), is hiding in Zueitina port refusing to surrender to the armed forces which is trying to seize the facilities peacefully.
Jadhran, who has been backed by the UN Libya Envoy Martin Kobbler, has been rejected by his tribe which has sided with the national army. His orders to stand up to the army were refused by PFG soldiers who instead either joined the national army or deserted the battlefield.
The state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed Ras Lanuf, Brega and Es Sider oil ports were under full control of the Libyan national army stressing that no damage has been done to these facilities during the military assault.
According to the army spokesman, no one died during the military operation to take control of the ports.
The control of oil port facilities by the national army will allow Libya resume the export of oil which is expected to reach up to 900,000 bpd within less than six months.
A huge relief felt by Libyan people all over the country at the news that the national army took control of the oil ports.
The majority of population in western Libya and the capital Tripoli have hailed the army’s control of the oil ports and have made that clear in the social media.
The Libyan people consider Jadhran a criminal and a traitor when he blockaded of the oil ports for almost three years at a cost to Libya of over $100 billion in lost revenue.