The anti-ISIS coalition, such as exists, is in a state of flux after Haftar’s seizure of the oil ports. Misratan officials have said that they will not go to war against the LNA to support Jadhran, however after Haftar’s forces succeeded in repelling a counter attack against the Sidra and Ras Lanuf ports, they pushed to within 50km of Sirte where Misrata are currently battling ISIS.

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GNA-aligned forces from Misrata managed to take full control of Sirte port’s and eastern coastline in Sawawa on 10 June. Libyan navy vessels blockaded the port as GNA forces advanced from the southeast, aided by airstrikes throughout last week. ISIS is currently hemmed into 20 square kilometers at Sirte’s center. Further, ISIS has lost control of all its coastal territory and the port will likely be used as a key transport route for GNA forces until ISIS is eliminated.

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The Government of National Accord’s Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus operation room continued to make significant strides against ISIS this week, advancing to within two kilometres southwest of Sirte, and forcing ISIS to retreat towards the city. However, this does not mean that a frontal assault on Sirte is imminent. Despite its recent losses, ISIS is still rumoured to have sleeper cells in and around Surman, Misrata and Sabratha.

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The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) establishment of the Adjabiya-Sirte operations room to coordinate the anti-ISIS campaign from the east, and de-facto reinstatement of Ibrahim Jadhran as head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in the central region, in tandem with the PFG attack on ISIS in Libya’s oil crescent, signals that a deal has been made between the GNA and local actors in the oil crescent that circumvents Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). While this dynamic effectively puts the GNA in a firm position to negotiate workable, yet temporary, alliances with rival militias to focus on the fight against ISIS, it threatens to expose the GNA to hijacking by groups that are not under its direct control, and who have no other overlapping interests than the defeat of ISIS in Sirte.

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On 1 June, a group composed of hardline Islamist revolutionaries from Benghazi and Ajdabiya issued a televised statement, aired by former Libya Dawn mouthpiece Al-Nabaa, declaring the establishment of the “Benghazi Defense Corps” (BDC)… The BDC said it would begin a new phase of operations to ‘defend’ Benghazi from the Libyan National Army (LNA), and pledged full solidarity with the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council.

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On 2 April, ISIS attacked the Al Beda 47 oil field, which is owned by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company and connected by pipeline to Brega, before being pushed back by the Marada Martyrs brigade, a group that supports the Libyan National Army (LNA). On 3 April, the brigade clashed again with ISIS militants 70 kilometres west of Marada in …

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A Resurgence of ISIS in Libya? 13 September 2017 Rhiannon Smith spoke to the Voice of America’s Africa News Tonight programme to discuss worrying signs that ISIS might be regrouping south of Sirte. She argues that Haftars Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and the predominantly Misratan al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) are far …

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ISIS’s ‘Wilayat Tarabulus’ media arm released pictures of a training ‘camp’ near Sirte named “Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir”. Photos showed approximately 50 members engaged in shooting practice with different assault and mounted weapons in the desert… On 1 February, the oil pipeline between Al Entisar oilfield and Zueitina port exploded, likely the result of an ISIS attack. Additionally, three IEDs were reportedly found in the Abu-Attifel oilfield near the pipeline, indicating the a sustained ISIS campaign against oil infrastructure in the region.

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Derna The DMSC announced the capture of a cell of 12 ISIS fighters in Derna last week. However, the DMSC, which is leading the combat efforts of city residents in a nominal alliance with LNA units, is reportedly beginning to show signs of discord within its ranks, due to the alleged sympathy of some members to ISIS. Western Libya Two …

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ISIS media activities have increased noticeably since their assault on the Oil Crescent and attack on the Ras Lanuf pipeline on Jan 13th . In addition to other material published by ISIS media affiliates inside Libya, three short films were published outside of Libya. The releases entitled “Bewitching and Terrorizing people”, “Country of Liberators” and “Message to the Islamic Maghreb” …

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The ISIS campaign to advance from Sirte to the ports in the oil crescent region has entered full swing with the 4 January attack on Sidra terminal. The attackers used  two suicide trucks (VBIED’s), one destroying the main checkpoint to the terminal and the other in the airfield strip. The new ISIS offensive seems to be the beginning of a …

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ISIS told residents that anyone caught celebrating Libya’s independence day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve would be punished. Last week, a young local who participated in the revolt against ISIS in the summer was also executed…. New reports suggest that the group is using land in Harawah previously owned by Col. Abdallah Mansour, a Qadhafi loyalist, as training grounds for their fighters.

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