Clashes escalated last week between the LNA and the GNA in south-west Libya as the LNA bombed Teminhint airbase and GNA-aligned Misratan forces bombed Brak al-Shati airbase. At least 10 fighters have been killed.

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Intermittent clashes continue between the DMSC and LNA in south of Derna as DMSC says it only recognizes the authority of Dar al-Ifta. In the south-west, both the BDB and LNA appear to be building up their forces and supplies.

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LNA announces the start of its ‘final’ operation to retake central Benghazi and targets jihadist supply vessels. In Jufra, the LNA appoints a new head for its Jufra Ops Room and is expected to launch an assault soon.

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On 18 March, the LNA announced it had fully liberated Ganfuda from jihadists and began targeting Sabri and Souq al-Hout. The LNA has also retaken the Oil Crescent and on 20 March, pushed further south.

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A suspected ISIS arms cache containing unguided air-to-ground bombs and fuel was reportedly found by LNA units approximately 90km south of Nawfaliya, while there are reports ISIS cells are regrouping in the regions south-west of Misrata, near Bani Walid.

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On 9 February, forces who oppose the UN-backed GNA announced the formation of the ‘Libyan National Guard’ (LNG) in Tripoli. A number of militias from western Libya announced they had joined the LNG forces and clashes broke out with rival factions in capital.

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There are reports of ISIS fighters sabotaging infrastructure in south-west Libya, including an attack on the Man Made River pipeline. An anti-ISIS tribal coalition has reportedly been formed to counter this threat. In Sirte, an ISIS suicide bomber attacked BM forces but no casualties were reported, while ISIS fighter says Tunisia journalists were executed in Derna.

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The Misratan Third Force retook the Gweirat al-Mal checkpoint from the LNA, while LNA fighters conducted airstrikes against Jufra airbase, injuring the head of Misrata Military Council. This lead to calls for all Misratans to mobilize against Haftar in the south, while protests were held in the south calling for Misrata to withdraw.

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There are reports of an ISIS presence in south-west Libya, with ISIS fighters reportedly use the desert roads to move between areas, raid supplies and establish checkpoints. In Sirte, a Salafist brigade has been tasked with securing the city.

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New hostilities between Misratan forces and the LNA threaten to destabilize southern Libya and weaken the GNA. Deputy PM Musa al-Koni resigned his position on the PC, saying it had failed the Libyan people, while the PC agreed the new 2017 Libyan budget and issued some major security decisions.

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ISIS fighters attacked the main control station of the Man Made River pipe system southern Libya, however the LNA says the fighters have been driven away and that they now have control of the station. In Khoms, the mayor says last month’s beheading was not carried out by ISIS.

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Last week, US AFRICOM concluded Operation Odyssey Lightning in Sirte while support is being given to the Stabilisation Facility for Libya. On 23 December, an internal Libya flight was hijacked and flown to Malta, where the hijackers were apprehended.

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2014 Jun June 21st: Haftar says ‘terrorists should leave now or die here.’ Mufti calls for anti-Haftar jihad Jul Aug Aug 3rd: BRSC overrun Saiqa base in Benghazi Aug 25th: HoR responds to the triumph of Libya Dawn by branding it terrorists Sep Oct Oct 19th: Hafter reverses slide in Benghazi with major offensive Nov Nov 23rd: Haftar courts Ferjan …

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Battles continued last week between the Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned, Misratan-led ‘Bunyan Marsus’ (BM) forces and Islamic State (ISIS) in Sirte. Despite repeated announcements of the city’s imminent liberation by BM forces, the end does not yet appear to be in sight.

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The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) establishment of the Adjabiya-Sirte operations room to coordinate the anti-ISIS campaign from the east, and de-facto reinstatement of Ibrahim Jadhran as head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in the central region, in tandem with the PFG attack on ISIS in Libya’s oil crescent, signals that a deal has been made between the GNA and local actors in the oil crescent that circumvents Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). While this dynamic effectively puts the GNA in a firm position to negotiate workable, yet temporary, alliances with rival militias to focus on the fight against ISIS, it threatens to expose the GNA to hijacking by groups that are not under its direct control, and who have no other overlapping interests than the defeat of ISIS in Sirte.

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On 1 June, a group composed of hardline Islamist revolutionaries from Benghazi and Ajdabiya issued a televised statement, aired by former Libya Dawn mouthpiece Al-Nabaa, declaring the establishment of the “Benghazi Defense Corps” (BDC)… The BDC said it would begin a new phase of operations to ‘defend’ Benghazi from the Libyan National Army (LNA), and pledged full solidarity with the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council.

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