While some groups have expressed their support for Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, ISIS in Libya did not exist yet. However, the continued conflict between the Misratans and Zintanis has further amplified divisions between groups fighting across the country.

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Tripoli remains engulfed in fighting, with the violence continuing to overshadow the formal political process. Many Western countries, including the US, have evacuated their embassies and advised their citizens to leave Libya.

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Fighting between Zintani and Misratan forces appears set to continue while in Benghazi Islamist militias joined together to form the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council and launched a major assault against Special Forces in the city.

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While some groups expressed their support for Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, ISIS in Libya did not exist yet. However, the growing conflict between the Misratans and Zintanis has further amplified divisions between groups fighting across the country.

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House of Representatives (HoR) Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz requested that the UN Security Council dispatch experts to train Libya’s defence forces and police eliciting condemnation from some for appearing to invite foreign forces into the conflict.

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Tripoli continues to be gripped by violence as the battle between Zintani-led brigades and those from Misrata rages on. The area surrounding the Tripoli International Airport (TIA) has become a battle zone, while fighting has been reported in several Tripoli neighbourhoods, as well as in front of the Interior Ministry.

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The effects of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s declaration of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq are already being felt in Libya. The leader of the Abu Mahjan Al-Ta’ifi Brigade, which refers to itself as ‘Al-Qa’ida in Libya’, has openly declared the group’s support for Baghdadi and sent 50 men, including fighters, doctors, and engineers, to Iraq to support ISIS.

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United Kingdom Special Envoy to Libya Jonathan Powell, along with his US and UN counterparts, are devising a new strategy to mediate between Libya’s warring factions. HoR Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni had a meeting with EU, UK, US, and UN ambassadors and envoys, during which he accused Westerners of destroying the Libyan military, while also requesting peacekeeping forces to protect Libyan government institutions.

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The long expected showdown between Misratan and Zintani forces in Tripoli appears to have kicked off with control of Tripoli International Airport a key point of contention. The Foreign Ministry remains under siege and bank robberies continue.

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Violence has continued, especially in Benghazi where General Khalifa Haftar is still battling it out against Islamist militants. Meanwhile, Tripoli and its environs have been witness to an increase in kidnappings and violence, with three Europeans being abducted this week from Zuwara. Insecurity has also persisted to the west of the capital with competing militias clashing.

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Clashes erupted in Tripoli’s western suburb of Janzour between members of the Special Operations Force, which belongs to the Interior Ministry, and a revolutionary brigade with Islamist leanings called the Knights of Janzour, which is now part of the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR). General Khalifa Haftar continued his assault on Benghazi.

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