On 11 May, local sources from Sirte reported that ISIS fighters were seen moving in the valleys, southeast of the city. A senior official of the Sirte Protection Force said that their force mobilised patrols along the coastal highway at the city’s main exits in anticipation of an attack.

On 14 May, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians killed by ISIS in 2015 near Sirte were returned back to Egypt. The deceased were transported by Libyan Afriqiyah Airways from Misrata to Cairo. The bodies of 20 Egyptians and another man, believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa, were discovered near Sirte in October 2017. The bodies are thought to be from an execution broadcast by ISIS on February 15, 2015, where they showed the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians who had been abducted in western Libya in January of that year.