Libyan forces destroy militants’ helicopter

Benghazi, Dec 30 (IANS) Libyan government forces Tuesday announced they have destroyed a helicopter of the Libya Dawn militants near the country’s largest oil port of Sidra.

“The air force managed to bring down a helicopter belonging to Libya Dawn militias, that was used Tuesday, with another plane, to raid the army forces stationed in the oil crescent near the port of Sidra,” said Ali Al-Hassi, spokesman for the joint military operations chamber in the oil crescent area, according to a Xinhua report.
Since Dec 13, Libya Dawn militias have launched a military operation, called “Sunrise Operation to liberate oil ports and fields”, to take control of the oil crescent area, claiming a mandate from the expired General National Congress.
The oil crescent area includes a group of cities between the cities of Benghazi and Sirte, 500 km east of the capital Tripoli.
It contains the largest oil reserves in Libya, in addition to the biggest oil ports in the country — Sidra, Ras Lanuf, and Brega.
Fighting in the oil crescent region caused a decline in Libyan oil production to around 250 thousand barrels per day, compared with 800 thousand barrels per day before the fighting began.