Libya Orders Military Force Against Rebel Ports
Monday, March 10, 2014

Reuters - Libya's parliament has ordered the formation of a military operation to end the occupation of oil ports by rebels, a spokesman said on Monday, after a North Korean-flagged tanker had loaded crude at one of the rebel-held ports.

"The military operation to fulfil this task will start within one week," according to a decree by the president of the General National Assembly (GNC) parliament, which was confirmed to Reuters by GNC spokesman Omar Hmeidan.

Meanwhile, rebels in eastern Libyan said they were moving land and sea forces to confront any government forces trying to attack their positions or a tanker that loaded oil at a port under their control, a rebel offical said.

"We have sent land forces to defend Cyrenaica to west of Sirte...and we also have boats patrolling the regional waters," Essam al-Jahani, a member of the rebels' leadership team, told Reuters.

He was referring to the historic name for eastern Libya, Cyrenaica, for which they demand political autonomy.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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