In Benghazi, intense fighting continued unabated as Haftar’s ‘Operation Doom’, launched four weeks ago, escalated its airstrikes and artillery bombardments on the usual hotspots of Laithi, al-Sabri and Bu’atni. A tight aerial blockade continues to restrict the city’s ports and surrounding waters, with the air force resorting to tactics seen in Syria with the use of explosives barrels. Another vessel was struck by an LNA Mi8 gunship 10 Nautical Miles north of Al-Mreissa port on suspicion of carrying militants and weapons for BRSC forces.
In Derna fighting continues between IS and the local jihadist group, the Derna Mujahedeen Shoura Council (DMSC), supported by fringe-members of the LNA army from Tobruq’s Got’an tribe and Al Hasan Al Jaber brigade fighters from Al Bayda. IS continue to be pushed out of the city, and are now mainly confined to pockets in the Al Fataeh and eastern Sahel (coast) area, surrounded, and without any durable supply lines. IS was also expelled from Ra’s el Hilal which is now firmly under the control of Haftar’s Dignity forces. IS are clearly and slowly accepting their defeat in Derna and shifting their completely to Sirte.
In the oil crescent, antagonism is growing between Federalist forces affiliated with Jadran and Haftar’s LNA forces.