Latest Libya news

Rival Libyan forces carry out air strikes before U.N. talks

By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Rival Libyan forces carried out tit-for-tat air strikes on oil terminals an…

  • Oil trades near $61 on Libya clashes
    Oil trades near $61 on Libya clashes 2 hours 28 minutes ago

    By Libby George LONDON (Reuters) - Oil rose more than $1 in volatile trade on Tuesday as fighting in Libya and signs of stronger global demand outweighed persistent concerns about a supply glut. Brent crude futures rose more than $2 at one point before slipping back to trade just below $61 (38 pounds), recovering from their biggest one-day decline in a month on Monday. Oilfields and ports are increasingly a target in Libya's conflict, which pits two rival governments and their armed forces against each other. U.S. crude futures , also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, were up 34 cents at $49.93 a barrel. More »

  • Libya air force hits militia-controlled Tripoli airport
    Libya air force hits militia-controlled Tripoli airport 4 hours ago

    Warplanes of the internationally recognised Libyan air force struck Tripoli's militia-controlled Mitiga airport Tuesday without causing any casualties, both sides said. More »

  • Libya forces hit Tripoli airport, to target Misrata - security official 4 hours ago

    Forces from Libya's internationally recognised government carried out air strikes on Maitiga airport in Tripoli on Tuesday and plan to hit an airport in Misrata to retaliate against rival forces controlling the capital, a security official said. Saqir El-jaroshi, air force commander for the recognised government, said the strikes were in response to attacks on Zintan airport by forces allied to the Libya Dawn group, which took over Tripoli last year and set up its own government. More »

  • Libya government in Tobruk votes to return to UN talks
    Libya government in Tobruk votes to return to UN talks 8 hours ago

    However, UN-recognized body say it will only meet for talks if it is recognised as the country's sole government. More »

  • Anti-Islamist general named Libya army chief
    Anti-Islamist general named Libya army chief 12 hours ago

    A once-retired general leading a sweeping offensive against Islamists has been named head of the Libyan army loyal to the country's internationally recognised parliament, an official said, in a move expected to deepen divisions in the conflict-riven nation. More »

  • Islamist militants shell two Libyan oilfields, port pipeline damaged 18 hours ago

    Islamist militants shelled Libya's Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields on Monday, damaging a pipeline to the Es Sidra oil port, a spokesman for forces protecting energy infrastructure said. Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State have been blamed for attacks last month on an oilfield and pipeline in Libya, where two rival governments are battling for control. "Large armed forces calling themselves Islamic State in Libya shelled Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields. More »

  • Libya's elected parliament agrees to return to UN talks 18 hours ago

    By Ayman Al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's elected parliament agreed on Monday to return to U.N.-sponsored peace negotiations one week after pulling out and a delegate from its rival assembly said the talks would resume on Thursday. Western powers see the U.N. talks as the only chance to end turmoil in Libya, where a power struggle between two rival governments and their armed factions risks pushing the North African country deeper into civil war four years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Fighting between the two factions has cut into Libya's vital crude exports and has also allowed militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State to gain a foothold in the large desert nation. Forces loyal to Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni's internationally recognised government and the elected parliament based in the east are battling Libya Dawn forces who took over the capital Tripoli last summer and set up their own government. More »

  • Oil tumbles on Iran, Libya; worry about high supply returns
    Oil tumbles on Iran, Libya; worry about high supply returns 19 hours ago

    By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent futures fell 5 percent, its most in a month, on Monday as speculation of a nuclear deal that could lift Iran's sanctions and boost its oil exports brought worries about high supplies back to the market. U.S. crude futures also fell but only slightly, supported by data suggesting a smaller-than-expected build last week in the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for oil. "The reality is there's a huge surplus of oil not only in the United States, but also globally, and it's growing." Brent's front-month fell below the psychological $60-a-barrel support, closing down $3.04 at $59.54, after talk of a sooner-than-expected nuclear deal for Tehran. Monday's tumble came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal on Iran's nuclear programme could be concluded this week if the United States and other Western countries had sufficient political will and were agreeable to removing sanctions. More »

  • Libya's Haftar appointed army chief for recognised government
    Libya's Haftar appointed army chief for recognised government 22 hours ago

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Khalifa Haftar, one of the most divisive figures in post-revolutionary Libya, was appointed army commander for the country's internationally recognised government on Monday in a move that could complicate U.N. talks to end the conflict. Four years after Muammar Gaddafi's demise, Libya is mired in a conflict pitting the recognised government against a rival administration set up by an armed faction known as Libya Dawn that seized the capital Tripoli last summer. Responding to Haftar's appointment, the Tripoli government denounced the former Gaddafi ally as a "war criminal" and said his promotion would further exacerbate a power struggle that threatens to tear the country apart. "The House of Representatives has appointed General Khalifa Belqasem Haftar as top military commander," said Tarek Saqer Juroushi, deputy head of the defence committee at Libya's elected parliament. More »

  • Tunisia tax suspension, teacher strike test reform agenda Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia cancelled a new tax on Monday imposed on travellers crossing Libya’s border after the measure triggered rioting, highlighting the problems facing the government as it seeks to bolster shaky state accounts. The main teachers union also launched a week-long strike on Monday to demand pay hikes in another challenge to the recently installed government, which is trying to curb state spending and reduce fiscal deficit as required by international lenders. Tunisia has been praised as an example of compromise politics and democratic transition since overthrowing autocrat leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in a 2011 uprising, holding free elections and drafting a new constitution. Prime Minister Habib Essid visited the two southern towns on Sunday and subsequently decided to scrap the levy. More »

  • UN report: Libya's flow of weapons needs tighter controls Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report says Libya's ability to prevent the flow of weapons into and out of the chaotic country is "almost nonexistent," and it calls for the tightening of an arms embargo that the government says must be loosened so it can defend itself. More »

  • Italy resumes Navy exercise amid new tensions over Libya Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    ROME (AP) — The Italian Navy is resuming exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, including near the coast of Libya, amid concerns about rapidly deteriorating security in the North African nation. More »

  • Italy to begin naval exercises off Libya Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    Italy will begin annual naval exercises this week near the coast of Libya, where a breakdown in order has allowed tens of thousands of migrants to try to reach Europe by boat and increased fears of attacks by Islamist militants. The navy said in a statement that the exercises, known as Mare Aperto (Open Sea), would begin on Monday. The exercises were suspended last year because of the search-and-rescue mission dubbed Mare Nostrum, which was set up after hundreds of migrants were drowned off the southern island of Lampedusa. Mare Nostrum has now ended and been replaced by a more limited European Union mission known as Triton. More »

  • Libyan aircraft crashes near Tunisian border - state news agency Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    An aircraft from Libyan forces controlling Tripoli crashed near the Tunisian border and may have been shot down, Tunisia's state news agency TAP reported on Friday. The aircraft went down 5 kilometres from the frontier inside Libya, TAP said, but did not provide any further details. More »

  • Libyan PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group
    Libyan PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    By Ahmed Tolba and Ayman al-Warfalli CAIRO/BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Libya's internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government would stop dealing with Turkey because it was sending weapons to a rival group in Tripoli so that "the Libyan people kill each other". Two administrations, one in the capital and Thinni's in the east, have been battling for power since the armed group Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in July and reinstated lawmakers from a previous assembly, four years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted. "Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us. A spokesman for Turkey's Foreign Ministry strongly denied Thinni's allegations. More »

  • Islamic State: Amid hostage crisis, Assyrians and Kurds join forces Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Syrian Assyrian Christians and Kurds have joined forces in a bid to regain territory from the Islamic State group, which seized dozens of Assyrian villages and scores of hostages in northern Syria this week. The relocation of the hostages into the IS heartland and their group's slaughter of religious minorities in Libya and Iraq have sparked fears of genocidal massacres. “The Islamic State is waging a campaign of genocide against the Assyrian people. We are watching a living history of thousands of years disappear and doing nothing to stop it,” says Mardean Isaac, an Assyrian writer working with A Demand for Action, a Britain-based group lobbying for the protection of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. More »

  • Explainer: What’s happening in Libya and why is it important?
    Explainer: What’s happening in Libya and why is it important? Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    The toppling of Muammar Gaddafi was just the beginning. More »

  • Libya warns of more air strikes with Egypt against IS
    Libya warns of more air strikes with Egypt against IS Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Libya's internationally recognised premier threatened new air strikes with Egypt against the Islamic State group in his country, warning Friday that the jihadists were poised to widen their presence there. More »

  • More than 25,000 Egyptians flee Libya after beheadings
    More than 25,000 Egyptians flee Libya after beheadings Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    More than 25,000 Egyptians have returned from neighbouring Libya since the Islamic State group posted a video earlier this month of the beheadings of Christian compatriots, the foreign ministry said Friday. More »

  • Draft Chinese law paves way for counter-terror operations abroad
    Draft Chinese law paves way for counter-terror operations abroad Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    By Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - China is close to approving a law that will create a legal framework for sending troops abroad on counter-terrorism missions, as Beijing seeks to address the vulnerability of the country's growing global commercial and diplomatic interests. Experts said Article 76 of the draft anti-terrorism law would allay concerns among the military elite about the lack of a formal mechanism for carrying out such operations, as well as mark a shift in foreign policy thinking and military doctrine. China has rarely been the target of terrorist acts overseas but it has vast energy interests, construction projects and mines in unstable parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa. The risk to those projects was highlighted in 2011 when the government evacuated thousands of Chinese workers from Libya during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. More »

  • If we fail in Libya, is there hope in other places?
    If we fail in Libya, is there hope in other places? Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Libya has become a litmus test for the potency of the international community and US leadership in the region. More »

  • Chaos in Libya damaging Tunisian business
    Chaos in Libya damaging Tunisian business Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Cross-border traffic between Libya and Tunisia has dwindled, affecting much-needed business. More »

  • Libya needs international maritime force to help stop illicit oil, weapons - … Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Libyan authorities are unable to halt the illicit trade in oil or the flow of weapons in and out of the country, and they need an international maritime force to help, United Nations sanctions monitors said in a new report. The confidential report by the U.N. Security Council's Panel of Experts on Libya, first seen by Reuters on Thursday, will likely increase pressure on major world powers to consider intervention to stop the North African state from spinning further out of control. "The capacity of Libya to physically prevent (arms) transfers is almost nonexistent and there is no authorization to enforce the arms embargo on the high seas or in the air as there were during the 2011 revolution," the panel wrote in the report. The 15-nation Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011 to stop delivery of weapons to the government of former leader Muammar Gaddafi during his crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations. More »

  • Qatar committed to 'stable' Egypt despite tensions: Emir
    Qatar committed to 'stable' Egypt despite tensions: Emir Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    The Emir of Qatar said Thursday he was committed to "stability" in Egypt, despite a recent row between the two nations over Cairo's airstrikes against IS militants in Libya. More »

  • NATO ready to advise Libya on security, eyes more drones
    NATO ready to advise Libya on security, eyes more drones Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    ROME (AP) — NATO's chief said Thursday the alliance was ready to advise Libya's government on defense and security issues, saying the deteriorating situation in the country is posing new security threats for Europe that require a more robust defense. More »

  • US Christians back emerging private war on Iraq jihadists
    US Christians back emerging private war on Iraq jihadists Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    After fighting with rebels in Libya and embracing the revolt in Syria, Matthew VanDyke has rolled up in northern Iraq, but the celebrity American revolutionary-cum-filmmaker has traded his fatigues for a three-piece suit. More »

  • EU's Mogherini discusses gas supply, Ukraine with Russia's Lavrov Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini discussed gas supply problems and the implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine in a 20-minute phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday. Mogherini told reporters that they also discussed the Iranian nuclear dispute and how to encourage a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Libya. "We discussed how to solve the issue of gas supply at trilateral level," Mogherini said, referring to Russia, Ukraine and the EU. The European Commission said earlier it had invited the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers for talks in Brussels on Monday after Russia said it would halt gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not receive advance payment, raising the possibility of onward deliveries to Europe being disrupted. More »

  • Fight against Islamic State: Is Obama's 'lead from behind' work … Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    When Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi took to the airwaves Sunday to propose creation of a pan-Arab military force to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State and other forms of extremist militancy in the region, some of the reaction was confusion. Isn’t there already a United States-led coalition of regional and other military powers working “to degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, some wondered? With Jordan launching airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria after the terrorist group publicly executed a captured Jordanian pilot in particularly gruesome fashion, followed by Egypt doing the same in Libya in response to the videotaped beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, is the anti-IS fight just every country for itself? President Sisi’s proposal and the go-it-alone revenge airstrikes are just two elements in growing questioning of US leadership of the anti-IS battle – and whether once again President Obama is opting to “lead from behind” in a crucial battle in the Middle East. More »

  • Why is Libya falling apart? Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    Since Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011, gangster-style militias in Libya have proliferated and are fighting over oil as two rival governments compete for control. Now the self-described Islamic State has arrived to try to put down roots and recruit militants. The war to oust former Prime Minister Qaddafi – backed by the United States, NATO war planes, and neighboring countries such as Qatar– planted the seeds for Libya’s turmoil today. In the aftermath, the groups quickly fell to fighting over Libya’s rich oil reserves. More »

  • Tunisia and Italy urge reconcilation in Libya
    Tunisia and Italy urge reconcilation in Libya Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    Libya's neighbour Tunisia and its former colonial power Italy issued a joint call on Wednesday for reconciliation among militias leading to a political settlement in the conflict-riven country. More »

  • Libyan parliament proposes Haftar, a divisive figure, as head of army
    Libyan parliament proposes Haftar, a divisive figure, as head of army Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - The president of Libya's elected parliament has proposed the appointment of General Khalifa Haftar, who leads his own troops, as commander of the army loyal to the government based in the east of the country, the parliament spokesman said on Wednesday. The decision shows the increasing influence of military figures in the official government and parliament, which has been forced to operate from eastern Libya since an armed group called Libya Dawn seized the capital Tripoli in summer. "Mr Aguila Saleh (parliament's president) has proposed to appoint Haftar," spokesman Farraj Hashem told Reuters. Haftar, an army general, has emerged as would-be strongman in the east, where the internationally recognised prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, has been based since losing control of Tripoli. More »

  • Libya could be next Syria, foreign minister warns
    Libya could be next Syria, foreign minister warns Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    Libya's Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri has called for Western military support, saying the growing threat from jihadist groups threatened to turn his country into another Syria. More »

  • Anti-IS mission puts hardened French pilot on new flight path
    Anti-IS mission puts hardened French pilot on new flight path Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    After flying missions over Afghanistan and Libya, French Rafale fighter pilot "Sharpy" now faces fresh challenges on his new assignment against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq. More »

  • Islamic State may have abducted 150 Christians in Syria, activists say Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    Fierce fighting between Kurdish and Christian militias and Islamic State fighters continues. "We have verified at least 150 people who have been abducted from sources on the ground," Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, a Syrian Christian group representing several NGO's inside and outside the country, told Reuters from Amman. A recent video by militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State showed the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya, and the group's adherents have massacred other captives from religious minorities. The Islamic State has targeted religious minorities as it seeks to control territory. More »

  • 20,000 Egyptians flee Libya after beheadings, airstrikes Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian border official says some 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since the release of a grisly beheading video by Islamic State militants. More »