Observers see that the military confrontations in the Oil Crescent Region and its consequences proved that the army affiliated to the House of Representatives (HoR) and led by General Khalifa Haftar started to lose supporters, either in the regions or across tribes.
Al-Maghareba tribe in Ajdabiya dealt sympathetically with the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) that was headed by Ibrahim Jadran. Some see the PFG forces, fiercely fought for the last three years, is the hard number in the equation.
Haftar forces attacked the PFG forces and seized the oil terminals. Close sources to Al-Maghareba tribe said that the PFG forces firmly controlled the area, preserved oil flow, they weren’t involved in any bloodshed, secret prisons, kidnappings, or killings their opponents and throwing the bodies in dumpsters.
But they were bitterly criticized, especially from Barqa province. Events didn’t follow the defined line; forces were attacked from behind, Barqa citizens praised the burning of their 45 planes, Barqa hospitals closed in the face of their fighters injured in clashes with Daesh.
According to media reports, the supporters of Benghazi Defense Brigades attack against the Oil Crescent Region see the real reason is Haftar’s previous seizure in the area claiming to reopen the oil terminals while he and his forces are not allied with any government. Haftar refused to recognize the Political Agreement. Subsequently, he is not affiliated with the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) that headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, and he is not affiliated with the Interim Government that chaired by Abdallah Al-Thinny.
Despite the vogue situation in the Oil Crescent Region, sources confirmed that Benghazi Defense Brigades control over Ras-Lanuf complex airport and the parts of Al-Sedra terminal.
The Oil Crescent Region stretches along 500 km, from Al-Sedra in the west to Ras-Lanuf, Brega, and Zwetina in the east.
Sources said that Haftar forces suffered heavy losses, before receiving military supplies, the army intensified air raids to force Benghazi Defense Brigades to retreat from Ras-Lanuf and Al-Sedra, towards Al-Noflea and Kahila valley.
Sources said that the Saturday clashes are the “bloodiest in years,” pointing to the confusion among the forces controlling the oil fields, Haftar fears insurgency would expand across the Oil Crescent Region.
Armed groups affiliated to Al-Maghareba tribe expressed their displeasure for the lack of material benefits, demanding part of oil exports, besides their refusal to the existence of Sudanese armed militias stationed around Zella, Merada, and the area controlled by Zuweya tribe, their tribal rival.
Tobruk interior ministry had ordered all its soldiers and officers from Harawa to Ajdabiya to get fully prepared and to merge with Haftar forces to counter further attacks.