The Supreme Committee for Issuing Fatwas (Al-Lajna al-‘Ulya li-l-Ifta’), which is based in the eastern city Al-Bayda and is associated with Khalifa Haftar, has called for Jihad in Sabratha against “Kharijites,” a term used by Dignity Operation members to label their opponents. The announcement follows the Committee’s controversial Fatwa denouncing Ibadis earlier this summer. Following this announcement the eastern government, headed by Abdullah Al-Thanni, ordered mosques in the region to perform Qunut prayers to ask God to defeat the “Kharijites” in Sabratha.

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The clashes between the Dabbashi brigade and the more pro-LNA Anti-ISIS Operation Room have continued unabated in Sabratha with use of heavy artillery, despite attempts by different actors to establish a ceasefire. So far, 26 people have been killed, 170 wounded and thousands displaced from the city centre. In Tripoli, 2 Nawasi fighters were killed by Tajouri’s forces, sparking tensions.

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Protests led by Basit Igtet in Marytrs square drew crowds but not as many as expected and the protest appeared to fizzle out without incident. Clashes in Sabratha between Dabbashi and Anti-ISIS force have escalated with civilians killed and other forces attempting to mobilize from Zawiyya and Watiya airbase to support their allies.

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On 16 September, clashes broke out in Sabratha among units affiliated with the Anas Dabbashi Brigade and the 48 Brigade, leaving at least five dead and 18 injured. LNA air force jets flew over the city on 18 September, triggering local fears that the LNA might intervene if the clashes escalate further. A brief ceasefire was announced on 18 September for an ICRC led evacuation though it is reported that the gun fighting continued.

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On 29 July, the Sabratha municipal council, with the cooperation of local tribes, mobilized a new security force. Dubbed the ‘anti-Islamic State (ISIS) Operation Room’ the force is intended to police the areas around Sabratha and Mellitah. After raising the anti-ISIS alert level last week, BM forces reported that ISIS activity on the road between Sirte and Jufra continues.

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On 23 April, Abdullah Dabbashi, a Libyan ISIS leader was reportedly killed in Sabratha while in Benghazi, the LNA claimed that ISIS fighter Mohammed al-Moghrabi had not been executed as thought.

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On 9 August, the House of Representatives (HoR) Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation declared Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Perrone as a ‘persona non-grata’. The decree is in response to his comments last week that were widely interpreted as dismissing Libyan elections.

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Ahmed Abdul Karim Hamza, an official with Libya’s National Human Rights Committee, has stated that several mosques through Libya have being used by ISIS and al-Qaeda to radicalize and recruit youths.

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On 11 May, the Presidential Council (PC) in Tripoli announced a decree that would significantly expand the powers of the Special Deterrent Forces (Rada). The GNA’s MoI established a new force called the ‘Special Operations Force’ (SOF). On 11 May, the Libyan Air Force had conducted strikes on fuel smugglers sites on the Libyan-Tunisian border. On 12 May, Tebu fighters managed to advance and take control of vital locations in south Sebha from their rivals the Awlad Suliman.

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On 20 March, the sixth round of discussions aimed at unifying Libya’s military concluded in Cairo. On 19 March, Zintan Special Forces led by Emad Trabilsi took control of the 27km checkpoint on the main Tripoli-Zawiyya coastal road. On 21 March, a so-called “Ceasefire Committee” created by the Presidential Council arrived in Sebha to negotiate peace between the clashing Awlad Sulieman and Tebu tribes.

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On 15 February, in Tripoli Serraj dismissed the current GNA Minister of Interior al-Aref al-Khoja from his post and replaced him with his deputy minister Brigadier Abdussalam Ashour. The GNA also promoted Sabratha’s Anti ISIS Operation Room Commander Omar Abdul Jalil to Brigadier General and is actively reorganising security architecture Sirte. On 14 February, the Supreme Court in Tripoli ruled in favour of the CDA’s draft constitution.

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On 7 February, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a LNA commander wanted on charges of war crimes by the ICC, handed himself into the LNA for questioning. On 11 February, the LNA affiliated AIOR apprehended a group allegedly plotting to conduct car bombs attacks in Sabratha. On 6 February, the LNA said it had arrested an extremist cell allegedly preparing VBIEDs in the Oil Crescent.

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On 20 November, the HoR voted to approve the proposed amendments to the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). On 23 November, the HCS President Swehli issued a statement rejecting the HoR vote. On 27 November, UN Envoy Salame began a whirlwind tour of Libya visiting Tripoli, Misrata and he plans to visit Benghazi on 29 November.

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Since taking control over Sabratha in early October, Khalifa Haftar has strengthened his relationship with several important military leaders in the west of Libya. This week Misratan General Salem Juha, endorsed Haftar as leader of the national army. It is reported that Haftar met with the GNA’s Commander of the Western Region during his trip to the UAE earlier last week. On October 20, a large militia in Sabratha, the Sareyyat al-Orouba, turned itself over to the LNA-affiliated AIOR. On 17 October, intense clashes erupted at Tripoli port after the GNA’s Presidential Guard and the Nawasi Brigade tried to take the port by force. The Presidential Guard secured the facility on 22 October, and it is now operational. On October 19, the Megarha tribe cut off water supplies to Tripoli, in an effort to secure the release of Mabrouk al-Hniesh from Rada Special Deterrence Force.

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On 6 October a militia affiliated with theLNA, expelled the Anas Dabbashi militia from Sabratha and Mellitah Oil and Gas Complex, with the approval of the GNA. Local communities who support the LNA victory are demonstrating against the Sabratha Municipal Council, and are demanding that the mayor to resign. On 14 October, Haftar gave a speech at a gathering of security officials in Benghazi, and said that it was unlikely that the UN led political path was the only way forward, instead implying that a military solution “approved by the people” remains possible.

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On 6 October, the Anti-ISIS Operations Room, a force friendly with both GNA and LNA authorities, announced its control of Sabratha after defeating the Anas Dabbashi Brigade following three weeks of intense fighting that ultimately left 39 people dead and 300 others wounded. HoR meeting to discuss the LPA planned for 9 October, was postponed after protestors blocked the building entrances.

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