"Pray For Us": Libya Issues "Cry For Help" As ISIS Advances On Oil Fields

Tyler Durden's picture

“We are helpless and not being able to do anything against this deliberate destruction to the oil installations. NOC urges all faithful and honorable people of this homeland to hurry to rescue what is left from our resources before it is too late.”

That’s from Libya’s National Oil Corp and as you might have guessed, it references the seizure of state oil assets by Islamic State, whose influence in the country has grown over the past year amid the power vacuum the West created by engineering the demise of Moammar Qaddafi.

The latest attacks occurred in Es Sider, a large oil port that’s been closed for at least a year. 

Seven guards were killed on Monday in suicide bombings while two more lost their lives on Tuesday as ISIS attacked checkpoints some 20 miles from the port. "Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, Libya's biggest oil ports, have been closed since December 2014," Reuters notes. "They are located between the city of Sirte, which is controlled by Islamic State, and the eastern city of Benghazi."

ISIS also set fire to oil tanks holding hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude. "Four tanks in Es Sider caught fire on Tuesday, and a fifth one in Ras Lanuf the day before," Ali al-Hassi, a spokesman for the the Petroleum Facilities Guard told Bloomberg over the phone. 

(a fire at Ras Lanuf)

(a smoking storage tank in Es Sider)

Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst at IHS Country Risk says the attacks are “likely diversionary operations” during Islamic State’s takeover of the town of Bin Jawad, a seizure that may enable the group to expand and connect “its controlled territory around Sirte to the ‘oil crescent.’” 

Islamic State is pushing east from Sirte in an effort to seize control of the country's oil infrastructure, much as the group has done in Syria and Iraq. As Middle East Eye wrote last summer, "the desert region to the south of the oil ports has been strategically cleared in a series of attacks by IS militants on security personnel and oil fields, where employees have been killed and kidnapped, and vehicles and equipment seized."

“I expect they will try and take Sidra and Ras Lanuf and the oil fields on the west side of the oil crescent,” one oil worker said. “There are few people left to protect the oil fields apart from local security from isolated towns.”

Efforts to protect Libya's oil are complicated immeasurably by the fractious (and that's putting it nicely) political environment.

In short: the country is a modern day Wild West and a strong central government is now a distant memory. This makes administering the country's resources nearly impossible. Oil production is now just a quarter of what it was under Qaddafi. Essentially, both of Libya's two governments have what they call a National Oil Corp. The eastern NOC is run by the exiled government in Tobruk (which is internationally recognized), where the House of Representatives was exiled in 2014 after elections produced an outcome that wasn't agreeable to Islamist elements in Tripoli.

Unfortunately, large foreign oil companies won't work with Tobruk's NOC which sets up the following ridiculous scenario: the internationally recognized government in Tobruk has an NOC no one wants to work with, while Tripoli's NOC (which foreign oil companies will do business with) is run by a government that the world doesn't deem legitimate. 

To top it all off, there's every reason to believe that neither Tobruk nor Tripoli actually control the country's oil. Here's Foreign Policy:

On the ground, the conflict involves far more than just the two bickering governments. Libya is composed of dozens of tribes, each with its own shifting interests and allegiances. “There’s a question about the extent to which the political forces actually have control over the important militias on the ground,” said Chivvis. “I think all this comes down to who controls the oil; it comes down to alliances on the ground. Which political forces control which sites within Libya.”


Ibrahim Jadhran is a perfect — and crucial — example. The 35-year-old was a militia leader during the 2011 revolution, and was appointed commander of the Petroleum Defense Guards by the still-unified transitional government in 2012. Originally from the eastern city of Ajdabiya, the rogue militia leader is an outspoken advocate of a federal system for Libya and frequently uses his power to open or close oil ports, shutting off oil exports — and therefore salaries — when he disagrees with either government.



“One of the initial causes for the plummeting of Libyan oil production was the blockade imposed by Ibrahim Jadhran in August of 2013,” said Porter. The commander has continued the tactic of stoppages in defiance of both regimes, even trying to steal a tanker full of crude to sell on the black market. The ship was finally stopped by the U.S. Navy off the coast of Cyprus.


Jadhran’s power is not to be underestimated. In fact, according to local media reports, it was actually him, and not the Tobruk government, that closed the Zuetina port. As Porter points out, it is Jadhran — not Tripoli or Tobruk — who truly controls exports.

Got that? There are two governments and two NOCs, but that doesn't really matter because the whole show is run by a militia leader. “Jadhran is a mystery even to us. We have not yet understood what he really is, apart from an oil thief,” Misrata Military Council head Ibrahim Beitemal told Middle East Eye last year.

Ali al-Hassi (quoted above) is a spokesperson for Jadhran's forces. 

Islamic State then, is apparently at war with Jadhran which is interesting for a number of reasons.

First, Jadhran's brother is in ISIS. "ISIS' Libya branch released an online statement earlier in the week claiming to have taken control of the coastal city of Bin Jawed, about 120 miles east of Sirte," CBS reported on Monday. "Bin Jawed is the last city before the oil town of Sidra and the huge oil port of Ras Lanouf, both currently witnessing fierce clashes between ISIS and al-Jadhran's men." And more: "ISIS fighters were reportedly attacking Siddra from three directions, aided by al-Jadhran's own brother, who apparently joined the ISIS camp."

Additionally, some say Jadhran once tried to broker a deal with the group and it's not entirely clear what, if any, relationship he has with the militants. “We have been told that Jadhran proposed some reinforcements to ISIS but on the condition that he kept control of the oil ports and fields, but this was rejected," a source told Middle East Eye.

So Libya's vast oil wealth is effectively up for grabs and the person guarding it has a brother who not only joined ISIS, but is actually participating in the battle for key ports and facilities. Now, Britain is apparently on the verge of sending in thousands of troops to halt the ISIS advance in yet another example of the West engineering regime change only to go back in later in a futile attempt to clean up the mess."Crack SAS troops are in Libya preparing for the arrival of around 1,000 British infantrymen to be sent against ISIS there in early 2016," The Mirror reports. "The operation will involve around 6,000 American and European soldiers and marines - led by Italian forces and supported mainly by Britain and France."

Of course that wouldn't be necessary if the West hadn't thrown out the government in Tripoli back in 2011. Now, the stepped up ISIS attacks threaten to derail the formation of a unitary governing body.

"In December, representatives of Libya’s two rival powers signed a United Nations-brokered power-sharing pact that called for the formation of a national unity government by mid-January," WSJ notes, adding that the violence could "undermine the financial viability of a peace agreement by destroying the country’s main source of revenue."

“I urge the swift formation of a national unity government and the establishment of a unified force structure capable of bringing peace to this country and protecting its natural resources,” Mustafa Sanallah, chairman of National Oil Co., said, in a statement posted on the company’s website on Wednesday.

Now that Russia has begun to dismantle Islamic State's oil operation in Syria and now that the link with the Turks has been revealed, it might very well be that ISIS is turning to Libya as an alternative source of financing. Taking control of the country's oil crescent would be a good start. 

Will the country's rival governments unite in time to stop the assault? Will Jadhran resort to some manner of negotiated settlement with ISIS if it means retaining his influence over Libya's oil riches? How will ISIS get its captured crude to market without a cross-border state sponsor?

All good questions that will be answered soon enough. For now, we close with one final quote from Jadhran's spokesperson:

"Pray for us."

*  *  *

"Miss me yet?"

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Latina Lover's picture

More global chaos, courtesy of the USSA. Because we are exceptional...

Looney's picture

Yeah, but didn’t John Kerry fix Libya just a couple of week ago?

BTW… He is back on his bicycle!

He will be pedaling with his good leg, while the broken leg’s duct-taped to the helmet.  ;-)


813kml's picture

More gov't inefficiency, a tricycle would allow him to use his three good legs.

J S Bach's picture

Send General Hillary to the rescue.  The Libyans love her.

pods's picture

I wonder if this latest news will warm the frigid cunts of Vicky Nudelman and Hillary Clinton?


Dr. Engali's picture

Cunts? Hillary had her dick cut off?

macholatte's picture




Thanks Barry!

Thanks Hitlery!

Hey Soros! How many people in North Afica are now unintended consequences?


Flashback 2011: Hillary Clinton Laughs About Killing Moammar Gaddafi: "We Came, We Saw, He Died!"




fleur de lis's picture

And thanks to NATO -- that's another bloodbath they created by obliterating a functional nation.

Hildabeast had a real good laugh on Ghaddafi's death, didn't she. She must have been doubled over laughing at all the people who got gunned down in the streets or slashed, burned, or blown up afterwards. Benghazi was worth a few good chuckles too, wasn't it.

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

Running the world is serious, solemn business. These folks need a good laugh now and then just to break the tension that comes from the responsibility (burden) of keeping us free, democracy safe and fiat dollars functioning intact.

froze25's picture

The world must not allow Hillary into office. She wasn't even president and has wrecked 2 countries on her watch as Sec. of State. Most Dems don't even know she was Sec. of State even less know what that position is responsible for. But hey she has a vagina so its time for her to be president. God help us.

Son of Loki's picture

The Libyan victorious "Mission Accomplished" thingy in Hillery's resume is noticeably absent.


That's Odd.

beemasters's picture

ISIS hates Libya's freedom.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) beemasters Jan 6, 2016 5:56 PM

Barry and Hillary!!

Monica, Monica, Monica

thesonandheir's picture

She must be elected to carry on the peaceful works of Nobel Prize winner Barry Obummer aka The Golfer in Chief.

crossroaddemon's picture

You realize that she didn't wreck jack shit... she was doing the bidding of her handlers same as obama. Neither of them is the architect of anything. Hillary in office == bush in office == obama in office == trump in office. they all get their orders from the same people.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) crossroaddemon Jan 6, 2016 6:01 PM

Chris Stevens was Hillary's friend.

He joined the Peace Corps to check the place out and make contacts

then he went to the War College.

you can't make this shit up.


They may not call the shots but they agree, laughing Hillary after Qaddafi is street raped and murdered.


the phantom's picture

Hillary- "We came, we saw, he died!"  (cackles with laughter).  How is that regime change working out there Hillary?  She owns this one, lock, stock and barrel.



IRC162's picture

the progressive liberal reply:




Not that GWB was a good president- he was the wolf in sheep's clothing- but dammit man, when do these guys want to acknowledge the last 7 years, beginning with the "Arab Spring" promoted by the current regime in 2009???  

When does a sheep become self-aware of his existence as a sheep? 

Red/Blue is illusion created by the Establishment.  In reality the battle is the Establishment against humanity.  

It sure is entertaining to watch the red & blue bounce from love/hate of the government just because 'their guy' is the figure head.....still attached to the same Leviathan. 

insanelysane's picture

The irony is that the lefties will tell you that Bush caused it all by removing Saddam but that the fix was for O and Hill to remove the leaders of Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria.

w a l k - a w a y's picture

 "What difference does it make!"

DetectiveStern's picture

it makes none, but now you have gone
and you must be looking very old tonight

Four chan's picture

but im still fond of you, woaho 

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Libya was Hillary's special project. If we were smart, we would just walk away...if we were smart......

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

This is good a place as any for a tale of Yale's very own John Kerry. Want to know the true measure of Kerry - Google his Cookie franchise at Faneuil Hall (David's Cookies is the guy he ripped off) before he married ketchup money. Further,  way back when, an Aunt of mine had a Summer job at the airport cafe that serves Martha's Vinyard - also before Kerry got Heinz' dough.  The fuk Congressman Kerry would be there sucking up to MA money.  On the return flight he would hit the cafe - without fail he would have an order that came out to about a nickel short of an even dollar amount - say $3.95.  The fuk would always throw $4 on the table when she was out of sight and slink off.  Not like he couldn't afford it - the guy was a Congressman. What a cheap slime ball

fleur de lis's picture

Someone once said, money doesn't make you a better or worse person. It only magnifies the personality you already have.

John Kerry has no class an never did. He went to big schools but so what. Has anyone seen his transcript? Does he strike anyone as smart? He just got hooked into the connected circles.

Soros is a billionaire. Does he strike anyone as refined or classy? Of course not. He was grimy riff raff all his life and today he's just riff raff with too much money and using it to drag entire societies down to his gutter level. He's what they called years ago, a beggar on horseback.

They're all the same. Nuland/Nudelman/Neudelmann or whatever her name is brings wreck and ruin to everything she touches. For all her money she doesn't even look groomed and sometimes she looks dirty.

No amount of money can ever polish them up. You can take them out of the slums but generations later you can't take the slums out of them. They use money and power to drag us all down to their mental levels. They were born philistines and they will die philistines.

Volkodav's picture

Money does not care who owns it...

fleur de lis's picture

I agree but a lot of it allows someone to do things he or she otherwise could not. That's where personality comes in.

__Usury__'s picture
__Usury__ (not verified) Lumberjack Jan 6, 2016 3:03 PM


''death pursues the native in everyplace where the european(american) sets foot''....

Lumberjack's picture

Sadly, the human race is becoming trapped into the unending bullshit of horrors. 

Charming Anarchist's picture

learn how to crack egg
learn fake accent

Which came 1st?

MrNosey's picture
MrNosey (not verified) Latina Lover Jan 6, 2016 2:50 PM

Yes and more real news that your governments do not want you to see, because they are the direct cause......


Blankone's picture

You can also thank Russia for the condition of Libya.  Russia voted for the no fly zone in Libya and consented to having Libya destroyed. 

It should be no surprise that now the ISIS army or the US/Israel wants to take control or the resources.

Correct me if I'm wrong, did Russia vote FOR the nofly zone or just abstain and thus give consent for the destruction.

Volkodav's picture

What part of no-fly zone don't you understand?

Full attack was not subject of vote.

you know better, but choose dishonesty

Blankone's picture

The no fly zone prevented Libya from protecting itself AND allowed for direct military actions.

The resolution formed the legal basis for military intervention in the Libyan Civil War, demanding "an immediate ceasefire" and authorizing the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.[4]

The resolution was taken in response to events during the Libyan Civil War,[18] and military operations began, with American and British naval forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[19] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[20] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces.[21] French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles.[22][23] The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual, with Gaddafi's forces not managing to shoot down a single NATO plane 

SO - Russia voted FOR the resolution that established a nofly zone and authorized all means neccessary.  And Libya thought Russia was a friend, just like Iraq did, just like Syria did (does still?).   Note that Russia consented to the santions and blockade against Yemen.

AGAIN:  Russia/Putin voted FOR the resolution the authorized the nofly zone (and the shooting down of all Libyan planes) and that authorized the direct bombing by planes and missiles of all Libyan forces.  YES, Russia/Putin voted FOR that resolution.

not dead yet's picture

You stupid clown. In Yemen and Libya Russia did NOT vote for the resolutions. They abstained. In Yemen the Russians wanted an immediate ceasefire and an arms embargo neither of which was included in the resolutions. In Syria Russia vetoed the no fly zone as they weren't going to be suckered like they were in Libya.


Although Putin is supremely popular with his people by no means is he the all powerful dicator trolls like you make him out to be. Putin does not want to reconstitute the USSR, contrary to misinformers like you, but there are plenty of holdovers and olgiarchs in power that do and would profit along with the US if Putin fell. So you do what you can when you can so as to not risk losing the power you do have. One must tread carefully but people like use this as weakness and betrayal instead of preserving their power and building upon it. Russia was a complete mess when the USSR fell and Yeltsin was stupid enough to invite US advisors in to transition the economy who enriched themselves and their Russian cronies while destroying as much of the Russian economy as possible. Considering all this Putin has done a remarkable job for the time he has been in office and has put his people ahead of everything else.


Max Steel's picture

another misinformed maggot.

Max Steel's picture

another misinformed maggot

Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) Latina Lover Jan 6, 2016 2:50 PM

Okay...Obma just needs to step aside and let TRUMP in today.  Give him a 90 day test.  See what he does.  Our .gov is a fucking nightmare.

Xibalba's picture

Trump is the American Adolf.  He'll ressurect 'jobs'...but take the whole cuntry down in the end.

Dr. Engali's picture

Uhmmmmm, I believe that you are currently describing El Presidente Zero.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Dr. Engali Jan 6, 2016 3:08 PM

UMMM... I think you're describing the Executive Branch of the 'Corporation of the United States of America' (since 1871). & the Supreme Court & CONgress for that matter.

Bill of Rights's picture

Yes cause the last eight years have gone swimmingly ...

Xibalba's picture

It took Adolf 14 years of 20% unemployment, crazy taxes, and a festered base to capitalize on the anger.  The similarities are there.  Perhaps your eyes to see are not. 


Let me ask you, have you ever met  Donny?  Cuz I have....and he's really likeable.  Just like Adolf was. 

froze25's picture

Adolf was a person with no business experience, a socialist, a bad artist, but the man had charisma. Trump has charisma but that is where the similarities stop. Not letting in Muslim Refugees with out proper vetting is reasonable, being politically correct is self enforced mind control bullshit, the boarder with Mexico needs to be controlled and immigration law needs to be enforced is also reasonable. The "he" is the next Hitler line needs to stop, I mean shit the Bush family tried to over throw the US government back in the late 1930's, they were actual fascist. Rubio is a clone of Jeb (both have the same donors). Christie said he would start shooting down Russian planes (that would start nuclear war). Hillary has destroyed Libya and Syria by supporting terrorist. Not a word about that in today's corrupt press. But no, no, no Trump is the next Hitler.

crossroaddemon's picture

You know how I know trump is a schill? Because he hasn't said a goddamn word about ANY of the real issues. All he talks about is the muslims and the mexicans... which are symptoms, not the disease itself.

I'll vote when a candidate calls out the international banking mafia and speaks honestly about 9/11. Not before. 

'Sides, Trump = Bush = Obama = Hillary. Just watch. Why are you so desperate for a strongman leader to come in and save your ass? Truth is, leadership is the exact OPPOSITE of what we need. 

TheFutureIsThePast's picture

That's what Americans want though. Even on this website where people are supposed to be informed, for some it's just about "immigrants and progressives", and not the REAL problems that are plaguing the nation.

It's all a mess.

MrPalladium's picture

@froze25 - Actually Hitler was a very good artist. Many years ago I managed to buy a book with prints of all his art works for $40. A copy of that book is now very rare and valuable. His work is excellent but far too "realist" to suit the modern taste. There can be no doubt that Hitler had his limitations, But the "bad artist" meme is just one more piece of the never ending propaganda to keep him a one dimensional eternal villain.