Over the last two weeks, the Benghazi Defense Brigade (BDB) advanced to within 60 kilometers east of Benghazi, before reportedly retreating back to its base in Jufra, Libya on 22-23 July. The militia, which has enjoyed rising support in western Libya after it managed to take down an LNA helicopter with three French soldiers onboard on 17 July, is likely to conduct a new incursion into the oil crescent to retake oil wells from LNA-aligned forces and to mount another assault on Benghazi.

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In the oil crescent, the Benghazi Defense Brigade (BDB) claimed to have shot down a Libyan National Army (LNA) helicopter on 17 July near Magrun, 70 kilometers south of Benghazi. AP reports indicate that the two foreigners may have been members of French special forces. Meanwhile, the BDB managed to retake the towns of Sultan and Jelidia, which it had withdrawn from last week. LNA reinforcements had been mobilized to the area, but were unable to halt the BDB’s advance.

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Battles intensified on 6-8 July as jihadists conducted a surprise counterattack against the LNA on the evening of Eid in Ganfuda. The jihadists’ fierce resistance may demonstrate their desperation, but it casts doubts on LNA pronouncements that the jihadists had been neutralized. At the same time, there has been an escalation of conflict between the LNA and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC). A three-week ceasefire was breached when the LNA conducted airstrikes on alleged DMSC targets in and around the Derna port on 9 July.

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A high-level political attempt at rapprochement in Derna culminated in a declared ceasefire last week. Nonetheless, Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) militants assassinated three Libyan National Army (LNA) security officers on 1 July, serving to scuttle previous progress. Meanwhile, an IED that killed two LNA security officers in a busy Benghazi street on 2 July, indicates that militants are likely to resort once more to assassinations and suicide bombings, if they continue to lose ground. The DMSC is also supporting renegade Islamist militias in Ajdabiya and Benghazi, a practice that has escalated tensions and made reconciliation between non-ISIS jihadis and the LNA even less likely.

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2014
Jun June 9th: Ansar al-Sharia attempt to assassinate Haftar in Benghazi
Jul July 14th: Misratan and Zintani forces clashes over Tripoli Airport
Aug
Sep Sept 1st: Dawn announce creation of Tripoli Revolutionaries Shura Council
Oct
Nov
Dec Dec 14th: Operation Shuruq: Islamists advance on Oil Crescent
2015
Jan Jan 5th: Heavy fighting in Benghazi and Derna employing tanks and grad rockets
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun June 1st: PM Thinni survives assassination attempt in Tobruk
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct Oct 26th: Benghazi demonstrators killed by mortars
Nov
Dec Dec 15th: Jihadis establish roadblocks in Sabratha
2016
Jan Jan 5th: ARSC denied defection to IS; IS criticize BRSC
Feb Feb 9th: Mystery air raids on Derna kill affiliates of DMSC
Mar Mar 8th: Links between Ansar Sharia and BRSC clarified; decline of non-ISIS jihadis
Apr
May May 9th: ISIS withdrawn from Derna after defeat by DMSC
Jun June 6th: Hardline Eastern Islamist establish Mufti-backed Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB)
Jul Jul 18th: BDB claimed shoot down French advisors in LNA helicopter
Aug Aug 1st: Anti-GNA Islamist demonstrations in Tripoli Aug 29th: Jihadi media release video of children allegedly killed by French airstrikes
Sep Sept 13th: Militias tensions over GNA grow in Tripoli
Oct Oct 11th: Notable Islamic scholar kidnapped by anti-Mufti militias
Nov Nov 18th: LNA retake Guwarsha gate from BRSC in Benghazi
Dec Dec 1st: Clashes in Tripoli between GNA militias and militias loyal to Sadeq al-Ghariani Dec 26th: LNA bombs BDB fighters in Hun, provokes Misrata
2017
Jan Jan 10th: Group of jihadist fighters fled from Sabri and Ganfuda in Benghazi; the LNA captured many of them
Feb
Mar Mar 6th: BDB launches surprise attack and seizes Oil Crescent ports from LNA Mar 14th: LNA launches counter-offensive against BDB and retakes Oil Crescent Mar 21th: LNA declares Ganfuda fully liberated from jihadists
Apr Apr 4th: DMSC states it only recognises the authority of Libya’s Dar al-Ifta
May May 8th: LNA launches full ground and air assault against jihadists in Sabri and Souq al-Hout May 27th: Ansar al-Sharia announces official disbandment
Jun
Jul
Aug