On 21 January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed Mismari said that the LNA has carried out airstrikes on Sudanese and Chadian opposition fighters in the south east of Libya, near to Rabiana, as part of Operation Desert Fury. A convoy of 15 vehicles was reportedly hit, with some reports indicating Egyptian support was involved. According to the LNA, this new operation seeks to curb the influence of militias and criminals operating in the region. On 15 January, Sudanese rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) reportedly killed six LNA fighters from the 106 and 501 desert patrol brigades and captured another near to the Jaghboub Oasis, close to the Egyptian border. The LNA fighters were named as Ibrahim al-Barasi and Salah al-Barasi from Beida, Muftah al-Barasi from Marawa, Nasser al-Qut’ani and Saqur al-Qut’ani from Um al-Rizim.

The UN Libya Experts Panel final report presented to the Security Council in June 2017 revealed the presence of foreign groups who contributed to an escalation of violence in the country. This included JEM and the Sudan Liberation Army. Also noted were Chadian groups such as the Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad (FACT), Conseil de Commandement Militaire Pour le Salut de la Republique (CCMSR) and Rassemblement des forces democratiques (RFC).