On 13 December a group of brigades from Misrata in conjunction with Ansar al-Sharia in Sirte began advancing on the oil crescent in an attempt to ‘liberate’ the country’s energy facilities.

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The future of the UN-sponsored peace talks known as the Ghadames II dialogue is still uncertain. The talks had been due to go ahead on 9 December but were postponed at the last moment and rescheduled for 16 December.

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The attack by Misratan forces called operation Shuruq is already being perceived by some as an assault by the west against the east. Indeed, the move is provoking uproar in eastern towns such as Ajdabiyya. Haftar is preparing to take the battle to Derna and is readying himself for a major assault against the town.

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