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. The attack 100 km east of Sirte, left four dead and eight others injured. 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. According to local sources, three ‘Madkhali’ Salafists (loyal to Haftar’s LNA) were abducted by ISIS around this time.
The LNA air force launched a series of airstrikes from Ras Lanuf airstrip on 2 September, which targeted ISIS positions in the area of Ain Taqrift, between Sirte and Zillah. As a result, the ISIS units reportedly withdrew southwest towards the desert valleys. LNA ground forces are purportedly moving westwards towards Sirte to Um al-Qandil– ISIS elements and locals were reported in that area on 3 September.
Meanwhile the predominantly Misratan, GNA-aligned al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces that oppose the LNA, are positioned in the areas around Gate 17, east of Sirte. They continue to scour the areas south and south-west of Sirte for IS elements. The LNA sent a substantial amount of troops to fortify various positions in the Oil Crescent throughout the last week, including the Shuhada al-Zawiya armoured brigade, led by General Jamal Zahawi from Benghazi.