ISIS did not exist in Libya but Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and various jihadis in Derna were aligning themselves increasingly with the Tripoli/GNC faction as the country fragmented into two blocs.

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Libya’s neighbours held another ministerial level meeting on 25 August in Cairo in a bid to come up with a plan to resolve the crisis in Libya. The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and Chad, and others.

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The HoR responded to the triumph of Operation Libya Dawn by branding its forces as well as those of Ansar Al-Sharia as terrorists. It promoted polarisation mirroring the moves of Operation Dawn. It also created a climate in which ‘moderate’ Islamists like the MB and Misratans were keen to work with the emerging ISIS groups.

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The fighting in Tripoli continued this week. It still appears as though the Misratan and Islamist brigades fighting under the banner Libya Dawn have the upper hand and are continuing to make gains.

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Benghazi has been the scene of further violence as General Khalifa Haftar renewed his attacks against Islamist targets in key neighbourhoods of the city. Libyan Air Force (LAF) commander Saccar Jurushi confirmed this week that LAF jets had carried out a number of airstrikes in Derna. Reports emerged on 18 August that several camps belonging to Libya Dawn in Tripoli were the targets of airstrikes. As of yet it is not clear who was responsible for the attack.

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The United Nations (UN) responded positively to a request by the House of Representatives this week to oversee the brokering of a ceasefire in the capital. A UN delegation, led by Special Representative Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has begun talks with the main parties in the conflict, as well as with officers from the Libyan army.

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Tripoli is still the scene of fierce fighting as rival militias continue to battle it out for control. The Misratans and their Islamist allies fighting under the umbrella of Libya Dawn seem to still have the advantage, although the Zintanis are continuing to put up a strong fight.

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Following the series of victories by Islamist militants, fighting under the banner of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), against Libyan National Army Special Forces targets last week, Genral Khalifa Haftar is trying hard to prove that he is not a spent force. Special Forces fighting with Operation Dignity attacked a number of militant bases in the Benghazi neighbourhood of Sidi Faraj this week, clashing with members of Ansar Al-Sharia.

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New fires are once again raging at the fuel storage depot in Tripoli. Fierce fighting continued in Tripoli as Misratan and allied Islamist brigades operating under the umbrella of Libya Dawn engaged brigades from Zintan. The head of the Justice and Construction Party (JCP), Mohamed Sawan, appeared to sanction the fighting taking place in Tripoli.

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Islamist militants, who are part of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), staged a major attack on the main Libyan Special Forces (Saiqa) base in Benghazi, overrunning the camp and forcing Saiqa troops to evacuate. The head of the politburo of the Cyrenaican Transitional Council (CTC), Ibrahim Jadhran, who led the protests at the eastern ports, announced his intention this week to set up a military council in Cyrenaica to support Operation Dignity.

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