On 16 September, clashes broke out in Sabratha among units affiliated with the Anas Dabbashi Brigade and the 48 Brigade, sometimes referred to as the ‘Anti-ISIS Task Force’ or the ‘al-Wadi’ militia. It is reported that Dabbashi fighters were shot at around a checkpoint manned by the 48 brigade resulting in the death of Dabbashi fighter Abu Bakr. The 48 brigade presented a different version of events, claiming instead that the attack was premeditated after they fired upon first by the vehicle. There have been five deaths and 18 injuries in the clashes since. On 17 September, the Tunisian-Libya border crossing at Ras Jedir was closed because of security concerns.

A brief ceasefire was announced on 18 September, to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate residents. Apparently the ceasefire has broken down and it is reported that a social reconciliation delegation was fired upon as gunfire continued. The same day, the Sabratha Local Council issued a statement putting responsibility for the conflict on both groups. LNA air force jets positioned south of Sabratha at Watiya airbase flew over the city on 18 September, which triggered local fears that the LNA is considering using airstrikes and ground to quell the fighting.