The persistence of IS and its forces in Benghazi in the face of aerial blockades has led local analysts to more critically analyse the groups’ supply lines. There are growing indications that the supplies originate from vessels on the high seas and are brought into local ports close to operation theatres via trawlers. Sources at Derna and Benghazi confirm that nearby ports Daryana and Al Khabta are used as supply points.
In Ajdabiya, the wave of assassinations which started two weeks ago claimed three more lives this week, bringing the total number of assassinations claimed by IS in one month to seven. Muftah Awami, Mahmoud Al Hammali, and Suleiman Ramadan Al Gbaili, all Salafisti imams, were assassinated by IS as they left local mosques. Most Salafists are supporters of Haftar and vehemently opposed to IS and revolutionary Islamists, and therefore easy targets for IS in a region not on the whole loyal to Haftar. The latest wave of violence by IS in the city of Ajdabiya is riding the political tides affecting the tribal makeup of the oil crescent region as a whole. Different elements of the same tribes are split between Jadhran’s PFG forces and local extremist groups including IS, Ansar Al Sharia and Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shoura Council (ARSC),threatening to destabilise the social balance in Ajdabiya and posing grave risks to the security profile at the oil ports in the region.
Other tribal members, supporting Haftar and the HoR, accuse both Salem Jadhran (local mayor of Ajdabiya), and Ibrahim Jadhran, (head of the PFG protecting oil ports) of aiding and abetting extremist groups including IS, contributing directly to the instability and violence and Ajdabiya.