In Benghazi, conflict continues between the Libya National Army (LNA) and the coalition of ISIS and Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council. Fighting intensified in parts of Guwarsha and Ganfuda throughout last week, as jihadists still manage to launch suicide attacks and mortar fire on advancing LNA units… On 28 August, jihadist media outlets released a video showing the recovery of bodies of children killed on 27 August in Ganfuda allegedly by French airstrikes. Families and supporters of jihadists held demonstrations in Tripoli on 29 August in front of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Abu Setta Naval Base in Tripoli condemning the attacks and calling for humanitarian assistance of the families trapped in the war-zone.

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Conflict continues in eastern Libya between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the coalition of jihadists in Benghazi. Reports indicate that General Khalifta Haftar has arrived in Benghazi to personally oversee the final assault in western Benghazi…. In Derna, the LNA operation room responsible for conducting operations against the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) was reorganized by Haftar this week, indicating a likely uptick in military confrontation in the coming weeks. The move follows two successful attacks conducted by the DMSC on LNA units near Derna last month, in which 12 LNA soldiers were killed.

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In Tripoli, local pro-GNA militias are recoiling at the perceived rise in Islamist and Misratan power. This tension signals imminent conflict in the capital, and potentially the collapse of the GNA’s political arrangements in western Libya… In Derna, a new agreement was reportedly signed on 13 August by local residents, members of the municipal council and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) in an effort to circumvent wider conflict and transition power to neutral actors… Benghazi witnessed a lull in fighting last week as the LNA reorganized its forces and consolidating its control, however clashes with ISIS and Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council militants continue to take place intermittently in Benghazi’s central districts near the port.

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As political constellations are being reformed across Libya, the gap separating ISIS from non-ISIS jihadis are closing as both are finding common ground in their anti-Haftar and anti-Western aims. However, this week these distinctions are fading. Ghariyani’s statements mentioned in this week’s ISIS in Action post and the BRSC suicide bombing against LNA fighters on 2 August in Guwarsha, Benghazi are closing the gap and driving the BRSC to coordinate with ISIS…. 18 LNA soldiers were killed on 2 August and more than 20 others were injured in a suicide vehicle attack in Guwarsha district, long used as the HQ for the coalition of Islamist extremists including IS, Ansar Al Sharia, and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC). The attack came after LNA forced managed to advance and retake Guwarsha Gate on 1 August; Benghazi’s main west gate, and a strategic position for jihadists.

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The rising tide of dissatisfaction with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in western Libya is fueling the momentum of hardline Islamists and anti-GNA factions who held demonstrations on 29 July in Tripoli… In a key development, Wissam Ben Hamid, symbolic leader of the Benghazi Shura Revolutionary Council, appeared in a video published by the Benghazi Defense Brigades media outlet (Bushra) accusing Abdul Raouf Kara, the head of Rada, of being a hypocrite and equating him to Haftar. Rada is reportedly holding more than 200 militants thought to be affiliated with Ansar Al Sharia and ISIS.

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