The US Has Threatened To Sanction The Commander Of The Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar
The US authorities told the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, that they could impose sanctions against him because he allegedly interferes with the supply of oil from this North African country.
According to sources of the publication from among American officials, the specified information was passed to Haftar by representatives of the US State Department, when exactly, it is not explained. Washington "threatened Haftar with sanctions because he refused to resume oil exports," the article says.
The article clarifies that US officials consider Haftar's position "ridiculous and uncompromising." Washington believes that the threat of sanctions may affect the commander of the LNA since he allegedly has property in the United States. As stated in the material, we are talking about a ranch located in the state of Virginia worth $185 thousand and housing, which costs $364 thousand. The publication notes that Haftar has American citizenship; he previously had ties to the CIA.
According to the newspaper, US officials claim that Haftar, with the support of foreign mercenaries, retains control of the largest oil field in Libya, al-Sharara, and the port, which plays a key role in terms of supplies of hydrocarbons from Libya.
The article contains comments from a representative of the US State Department. She noted that Washington calls on all parties in Libya "to reject attempts to militarize the energy sector, divide the country's economic institutions, and subordinate critical infrastructure to foreign interests."
Oil fields and the situation in Libya
In Libya, for a long time, there have been two parallel bodies of Executive power: the government of national accord (GNA) of Sarraj, sitting in Tripoli, and the interim Cabinet of Abdullah Abdurrahman al-Thani, operating in the East of the country jointly with the Parliament and supported by the LNA.
For more than a year, the opposing camps have been fighting for the country's main city, after Haftar launched an offensive on the capital on April 4, 2019, with the goal, as he claimed, of liberating it from terrorists.
In response, the Tripoli Cabinet mobilized all the armed groups under its control, officially requesting assistance from Turkey based on a Memorandum of military cooperation signed with it in November last year. To date, with the active support of Ankara, the NTC has managed to regain control of several territories captured earlier by the haftarists.
Oil production at most deposits in the country virtually came to a halt about five months ago. The cessation of raw material production and the closure of oil loading ports in the East of the country, according to the National Oil Corporation (NOC), brought the country losses of more than $6.5 billion.
The Libyan national army has repeatedly stated that local tribes are behind the blockage of the oil infrastructure, dissatisfied with the fact that all proceeds go to the Central Bank in Tripoli and are spent on supporting both the armed groups operating in Libya and supporting the NTC and the mercenaries sent by Turkey from Syria.