Nov 28, 2019 18:45 UTC
  •  Haftar's forces carry out airstrikes in southwest Libya

Forces loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar say they have launched airstrikes in the vicinity of oilfields in the southwest of the war-ravaged country.

Since 2014, Libya has been divided between two rival governments: the House of Representatives based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the internationally-recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj or the Tripoli-based unity Government of National Accord (GNA).

In April, Haftar, who backs the eastern government, launched an offensive to capture capital Tripoli and oust the GNA. Despite intense and deadly clashes between the two sides, Haftar has so far failed to achieve his objective.

On Thursday, Mi-35 attack helicopters used by Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) targeted pro-GNA Chadian opposition forces preparing to attack Libya's biggest Sharara oilfield, Reuters quoted an unnamed LNA military official as saying.

The official said LNA forces had also shelled rival groups aligned with the GNA in Tripoli at an agricultural project near LNA-controlled El Feel oilfield.

The GNA has not yet confirmed or rejected the claim.

Both warring sides in Libya's conflict frequently accuse each other of depending on African mercenaries.

On Wednesday, the LNA said its forces had managed to push back pro-GNA forces from the 70,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) El Feel oilfield, one of the two major fields in the country. The fighting, it said, had halted production for several hours.

On Thursday, engineers at El Feel said the production was gradually restarting.

The National Oil Corporation (NOC), which operates the field in a joint venture with Italy's Eni, confirmed the resumption of production, saying no staff had sustained injuries and the facilities had suffered only minor damage.