ISIS media claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a Libyan National Army (LNA) checkpoint at the entrance of al-Nawfaliya town, on 31 August. It was reported that ISIS units moved in to al-Teysseen, a town 90 kms east of Sirte, on 1 September. They allegedly held an Eid prayer in the local mosque and took positions in the town. The LNA air force launched a series of airstrikes targeting ISIS positions, from Ras Lanuf airstrip on 2 September.

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On 22 September, the US conducted an unmanned airstrike on an ISIS camp about 150 miles south-east of Sirte, reportedly killing 17 ISIS fighters and destroying 3 vehicles. ISIS’s Wilayat Barqa, published a long video last week praising the ISIS suicide car bomb attack in Nawfaliyah and the Fugha checkpoint massacres in August.  

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On 10 September, the commander of the LNA’s Sirte Operation Room declared that the entire coastal strip from Sidra to about 50km east of Sirte. On 8 September, the LNA reportedly defused a bomb attached to the main gas pipeline south of Ajdabiya. BM forces are positioned at the 30km checkpoint east of Sirte, and it is reported that BM arrested two people in a raid last week, fueling tensions with the local population.

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On 14 March, the LNA launched a counter attack against the BDB. Following intense fighting, by the end of the day the LNA claimed to be in control of the Oil Crescent once more, including the oil ports.

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The Islamist Benghazi Defence Brigades launched a surprise attack against the LNA in the oil crescent last week, pushing the LNA back to Brega and taking control of two oil ports. The LNA has accused the PC of working with BDB and other jihadists to mastermind the attack.

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A suspected ISIS arms cache containing unguided air-to-ground bombs and fuel was reportedly found by LNA units approximately 90km south of Nawfaliya, while there are reports ISIS cells are regrouping in the regions south-west of Misrata, near Bani Walid.

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On 16 January, the GNA’s MoD spokesperson, announced that more than 2,500 bodies of ISIS fighters had been collected from Sirte.On 17 January, LNA forces in Nawfaliyah, a town west of Sirte, captured Emhemmed Emrajaa al-Hamali, a senior Libyan ISIS commander from Sirte. Al-Hamali was taken by the LNA to Grenada prison in Benghazi.

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On 11 September, General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) announced and launched a secretive military operation named Sudden Lightening, and by 12 September the LNA had taken full military control of the Oil Crescent. Ras Lanuf, Sidra and Zuetina oil ports were wrested away from Ibrahim Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), and are now under control of the House of Representatives-aligned (HoR) LNA.

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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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The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Bunyan Marsus operations room, led by Misratan Colonel Bashir Al Gadi, made significant gains against ISIS this week, advancing to within 30 kilometres of Sirte…On May 30, the Petroleoum Facilities Guard (PFG) made significant gains against ISIS from the east. PFG units took control of a number of oil fields last week, including Al Jabal and Waha Al Waha.

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In Sirte, ISIS is taking unprecedented measures as the buildup of rival Libyan forces towards a battle in Sirte is almost complete. ISIS is reported to have executed, by firing squad an army captain, named as Ahnaish Qaddafi, and two other soldiers, both bothers, as it tries to control public dissent in the town before battle commences with anti-ISIS forces …

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Heavy fighting between ISIS and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in Garrah Al Haddad, an area between Bin Jawwad and Sidra, took place on 3 April. One PFG member was killed in the battle. That same day, ISIS issued a statement saying it had manged to thwart the advance and push the PFG eastward from Bin Jawwad.  Later, on 11 …

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Fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and coalition of jihadist militias continued in southwest Benghazi. The LNA escalated its aerial blockade of the city and its nearby waters, due to a rise in supply vessels to jihadist militias. The LNA reported the destruction of six fishing boats off Benghazi’s southern coast on 1 April. The LNA has largely defeated …

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As ISIS loses key personnel and territory in its battles with local fighters in Benghazi and Sabratha, the group is being forced to expedite its plans of establishing an emirate in Southern Tunisia. Developments over the course of the last two weeks indicate that ISIS has yet to find a hospitable environment in Libya, especially where Libyans have the means …

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The Decline of ISIS in Libya and the Levant is a Concern for Tunisia August 24, 2017 In an article for the Middle East Eye, Rhiannon Smith and Lachlan Wilson discuss how the military gains against ISIS first in Libya then in the Levant could have a destabilising impact on Tunisia as the thousands of Tunisians fighting overseas for IS begin to …

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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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