In eastern Libya, the momentum and control of Haftar’s LNA is beginning to falter. Two commanders from the LNA’s 204 Tank Regiment, once led by the current GNA Defence Minister Mahdi al-Barghathi were abducted and killed. On 6 November in a televised statement, Barghathi accused Haftar of orchestrating the assassinations and said he held him fully responsible. He also accused the LNA of wider assassinations and human rights abuses in eastern Libya.
In his statement, Barghati condemned the LNA’s use of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) mercenaries from Sudan, saying oil crescent ports like Sidra and Ras Lanuf are currently controlled by them. Barghathi’s visit to Jufrah on 1 November, where Islamist Benghazi Defence Militias (BDB) and other anti-LNA militias are based, stoked fears in eastern Libya of a new counterattack by these forces against the oil crescent in the foreseeable future. Barghati said that he intended to move a number of defence ministry operations out of Tripoli to the Jufrah airbase.