Throughout last week the Sirte Protection Force (SPF) was on a state of alert following reports of the presence of ISIS fighters near Sirte. Several days before, the SPF posted photos of their manned checkpoints on the outskirts of the city.

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On 30 September, ISIS fighters were observed by local security forces along the coast road between Wadi al-Ahmar and Umm al-Kandil, 90 and 110 km east of Sirte respectively. Security forces have allegedly been dispatched to patrol for ISIS south of the Wadi al-Ahmar region.

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On 30 June, Sirte security forces declared a state of alert following reports of ISIS movement in the southern part of the city. On 28 June, airstrikes targeting Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) and ISIS locations were reported near Bani Walid.

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On 11 May, local sources from Sirte reported that ISIS fighters were seen moving in the valleys, southeast of the city. On 14 May, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christian killed by ISIS in 2015 near Sirte were returned back to Egypt.

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On the 26 April, Sirte security forces found a body in an orange jumpsuit, thought to have been killed by ISIS. It is unclear if the body was from a recent killing or from when ISIS controlled the city up until late 2016.

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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 27 January, a cooperative effort began between the al-Bunyan al-Marsous Security Directorate of Sirte and the Red Crescent of Misrata to recover the bodies of ISIS fighters buried in Sirte’s neighborhood 600 and 656.

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On 11 January, a would-be ISIS bomber surrendered himself to al-Bunyan al-Marsous (BM) forces after defusing the bomb he was instructed to detonate. On 14 January, BM forces arrested an Egyptian who was allegedly hiding and transporting ISIS fugitives out of Sirte.

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Photos of GNA affiliated forces show the continual removal of ISIS IEDs from the Sirte area, while there are reports of ISIS-sympathetic telegram accounts accusing the BRSC of having a deal with the Libyan National Army.

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On 24 December, a mass gave thought to contain the bodies of as many as twenty ISIS fighters was uncovered in the al-Manara neighborhood of Sirte following a report from a local resident. Al-Manara saw the most intense clashes between ISIS and the al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces prior to the former’s defeat in the city in December 2016.

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On 3 November, Zarouk Asuiti, the head of the activation committee of security services in Sirte, stated he has received information suggesting ISIS is regrouping in the valleys south of the city. The Libyan Air Force are said to be flying Mi-35 helicopters over Nawfaliyah-Bin Jawad area following reports of ISIS activity in the area.

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On 15 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) conducted two airstrikes against an ISIS target in the desert 90km south of Harawah, southeast of Sirte. On 17 November, the US reportedly conducted a drone strike against ISIS targets in the desert south of Sirte, reportedly with success, but no information has yet been officially released.

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ISIS established temporary checkpoints 70 km south of Sirte on the road to Waddan and also near Bohadi village in the same district, on the 8 and 13 November respectively. ISIS’s claims its fighters repelled an attack by the LNA in Cyrenaica on 2 November.

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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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A team of Italian military and security advisors visited Sirte’s al-Qardabiyah airport to assess ‘reconstruction.’ The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for LNA’s Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli. There are reports that an armed security contingent for the UN is planned to offload in Khoms port.

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