ISIS Attacks On Libyan Oil Facilities Visible from Space

Submitted by Charles Kennedy of

ISIS militants in Libya continue to attack key oil infrastructure in the country.

The two large oil export terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf came under ISIS attacks on January 4-6. Some oil storage tanks exploded after suffering damage from machine gun fire.

NASA just published some shocking photos that clearly show the smoke plumes from the oil storage tanks are visible by satellite. The smoke blew east and northeast, blanketing Libya’s Mediterranean Coast. News reports suggest that at least five oil storage tanks are burning, each thought to have the capacity to hold 420,000 to 460,000 barrels of oil. Four of them are located at Es Sider and one at Ras Lanuf.

A spokesperson for the National Oil Company in Libya said that seven storage tanks were burning.

The attacks came as the oil company issued a “cry for help” on its website, calling on the Libyan people “of this homeland to hurry to rescue what is left from our resources before it is too late.”

Libya’s rival governing factions have taken steps to patch up their differences, signing a UN-backed power-sharing agreement in December. The attacks from ISIS threaten to inflict lasting damage on the heart of Libya’s economy: its oil infrastructure.

Take a look at the stunning NASA images below: 

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For the full backstory on ISIS and Libya's oil infrastructure, see here


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