Saturday, 23 January 2016



By Salman Rafi via Asia times

The so-called global ‘anti-terror’ front seems to be expanding its tentacles as leaders of the ‘free world’ plan to end the terrorist threat posed by the ISLAMIC STATE (IS). Thanks to their ‘wise’ policy of funding proxy groups, IS is reported to have been ‘quite successful’ in capturing a lot of territory rich in oil in LIBYA.

Such groups, whether in LIBYA or in the MIDDLE EAST, owe their existence as well as financial and fighting strength (whatever they have) to “certain powers” that aim at establishing a regime of domination, if not unchallenged hegemony, on global political-economy. Hence, the saga of “oil wars” and “energy pipeline politics”– key pillars of this regime of domination.

Background Information: LIBYA’S NATURAL RESOURCES

‘Oil’ continues to be the cause of many wars being fought today and also the most important source of funding them. Perhaps, an allusion to the fast decreasing financial ability of the “great powers” to fund these wars through ‘shadow money.’ That is to say, if terrorist groups like IS can conveniently extract oil and also sell it in the market, they do not particularly need secret financial assistance from their mentors. Hence, IS’ “oil drive” in SYRIA as well as LIBYA.


The question these days however is, if with oil prices at an all-time low, one would imagine that IS should also feel loss in revenues from illegal oil trade. 

That is if IS is really funding its operations solely through oil trade.  On the other hand one could ask if the current decline in oil prices is a deliberate strategy initiated by powerful international entities to severely hamper IS expansion and operations, by making IS run out of its main source of income and thereby eradicate IS by means of “economic warfare” instead of airstrikes.   

But given the fact that IS is also a lucrative business for the international weapons industry (and car industry (Toyota), it seems), one has to be cautious with any assumptions regarding the decimation of IS, especially if the persisting allegations that IS is the creation of Western entities such as the CIA, are true. 

Comment by Geopolitical Analysis and Monitoring.

Were the media reports (and some official statements) to be believed, the IS has already established its control over more than 240 kilometers of LIBYAN coastline. The number of IS militants in the area is estimated to exceed 5,000 and among them, besides LIBYANS, are former citizens of various ARAB, AFRICAN and EUROPEAN states.


Hence, the December 1, 2015 warning by the UN observers that Libya is turning into a key stronghold of IS –implying, indirectly though, that the IS has found a good hiding place to regroup and re-organize itself in LIBYA after facing mounted bombing from RUSSIAN side and reasonably successful ground operations by the SYRIAN Army in SYRIA.

RUSSIA’S specific targeting of IS’ oil tankers in SYRIA certainly has done damage to the groups’ financial strength, prompting them to intensify attacks in LIBYA to capture oil reservoirs. This goal is to be achieved by getting hold of LIBYAN ports, strategically important roads, intersections, and the better part of LIBYA’S oil terminals to the south of AJDABIYA.

Background Information: REGROUPING OF IS

Islamists’ assault on the port of ES SIDER in January leading to a prolonged fire fight with the defense units entrusted with its security reveals they have been actively pursuing this goal. The estimated income one can get from LIBYA’S oil amounts to a whopping $100 billion a year. (That figure might not be correct for 2016 since the oil price seems to be plunging further every month)

On January 12, some other attacks were reported. IS tried to seize export terminals in the so-called “oil crescent” of northern LIBYA, killing 56 people in two suicide bombings in ZLITEN and RAS LANOUF, east of TRIPOLI.
“On Sunday night, the guards intercepted three boats trying to enter the oil port of ZUEITINA,” said ALI AL-HASSI, spokesman for the guards protecting oil facilities for LIBYA’S “recognised government.”

IS fighters have stepped up their attacks on LIBYA’S oil facilities since the country’s two major political factions agreed last month to a UN-negotiated deal aimed at creating a unity government by mid-January. A national unity government backed by loyal security forces could take back control of the country’s oil facilities. In this context, IS not only seems to be aiming at controlling LIBYA’S oil for itself but also disrupting its supply to put the would-be unity government in considerable financial jeopardy as soon as it comes into existence.

By creating such chaos in LIBYA, IS is planning to use it as a base camp to re-group, re-organize itself financially and militarily to extend its operations not only in AFRICA but also in the EUROPEAN continent. Perhaps, a big reason for the ‘WEST’ to worry about.


Here is how LIBYA can boost the groups’ military capacity. Since the beginning of crisis in LIBYA in 2011, the country has turned into a haven for weapons suppliers/smugglers. Apart from it, the destruction of the LIBYAN state as a direct result of Western military intervention in 2011 also marked the uncontrolled spread of weapon supplies in the country and along its borders. As a result, the IS was able to take control of weapons supplies destined to government militias in TRIPOLI.

Background Information: 2011 MILITARY INTERVENTION

While some may tend to disagree or even deny that IS is gaining easy access to oil and weapons in LIBYA, it can hardly be denied that LIBYA is fast turning into IS’ new ‘international capital.’

Comment by Geopolitical Analysis and Monitoring



As mentioned numerous times, RUSSIA and CHINA felt that they were left out of the equation regarding the LIBYAN operation instigated by the USA, FRANCE and BRITAIN. CHINA and RUSSIA invested heavily in LIBYA prior to the toppling of the LIBYAN regime, only to find out that they were kept completely out of the picture regarding the true intentions the Western coalition force had in mind with LIBYA once the regime was removed and the airstrikes sanctioned by the UN Security Council. CHINA and RUSSIA were lured into voting for the intervention without being told about the true intentions of the Western coalition, namely tap the oil reserves of LIBYA.

Subsequently RUSSIA and CHINA learned their lesson and thus would not make the same mistake regarding SYRIA, permitting LIBYAN style intervention by WESTERN and GULF STATES coalition forces. No matter that SYRIA lacks oil reserves or other natural resources worth fighting over, their veto was more of a symbolic gesture telling WESTERN and GULF STATES coalition forces: that’s how far you can go this time around, but no further.

Further we wrote in 2013:


According to some analysts this instability could also be triggered deliberately by certain foreign entities who invested heavily in LIBYA’S oil and fossil extraction prior to the military intervention in LIBYA. When coalition forces decided to intervene in LIBYA they did not consider the consequences such intervention would have on the geopolitical landscape.

With the aim to gain control over LIBYA’S oil reserves WESTERN coalition forces thought they could outwit CHINA and RUSSIA who also invested heavily in LIBYA’S lucrative oil industry. Lured into voting in favor of the UN resolution which in the end paved the way for Military Intervention in LIBYA, RUSSIA and CHINA expected to receive their fair slice of the “energy cake” once the intervention was concluded, instead they were left out of the equation, losing millions of dollars of investments in LIBYA, for all energy deals RUSSIA and CHINA inked with Muammar Qaddafi prior to the military intervention suddenly became void, leaving the USA, FRANCE and BRITAIN the sole benefiters of the entire operation.

Note from the Editor: Above paragraphs were written by Geopolitical Analysis and Monitoring in June 2012 and October 2013 and included into this analysis


The possibility of a NATO military operation in LIBYA has been confirmed by a LIBYAN representative in the UNITED NATIONS. According to him, four NATO countries (the UNITED STATES, ITALY, FRANCE and the UNITED KINGDOM) are prepared to launch air strikes against IS strongholds in LIBYA, which would be later supported by ground troops, which, in turn, should establish control over the territories occupied by IS.

Although it looks simple enough, it is not so, however. That a full scale NATO intervention has not taken place yet is not simply due to any fictional strategic problem. The WEST, as it stands, is waiting for the eventual establishment of the so-called (western-backed) ‘Unity Government’ in LIBYA — a government that would then ‘invite’ NATO to intervene, making things for NATO countries much easier, especially compared with the sort of troubles they had to face with regard to getting legal authorization for intervening in SYRIA. So much for the WEST’S craving for a “legitimate” intervention! (Since last week this western – backed government has been formed and sworn in.)

According to some credible sources, the P3+5 will now seek a UN Security Council resolution to authorise intervention in LIBYA to “train” the local police, army and coastguard. Special Forces from BRITAIN, FRANCE and the US will also conduct counter-terrorism operations against the LIBYAN branch of IS and other Islamist groups.

As part of the military operations, AMERICAN and FRENCH air strikes will be required, with BRITISH jets unlikely to participate because of the commitment to fight IS in IRAQ (and now is SYRIA too), a WHITEHALL source was reported to have stated.

Background Information: USA AND LIBYA

An extended war is, therefore, most certainly coming to LIBYA. The question is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ it will come. As reports indicate, it will be soon.
However, the important question that must be raised at this stage is how a fresh NATO intervention in LIBYA can contribute to “peace” when such an intervention back in 2011 is the very reason for today’s chaos? Will NATO’s fresh intervention be more “humanitarian” this time? And last but not least, will RUSSIA and CHINA be left out of the equation once again?

Written by Salman Rafi Sheikh, who is a freelance journalist and research analyst of international relations and Pakistan affairs, via Asian Times

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