In eastern Libya, the Libyan National Army (LNA) is preparing for a new offensive against the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) and other jihadists belonging to Al Qaeda and Ansar Al Sharia (AAS). On 11 May, LNA spokesperson Ahmed El Mesmari held a press conference in Benghazi to outline the LNA’s progress in Derna. He said that the LNA had …

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Three separate operations rooms to combat ISIS were established last week. It is quite clear that each actor wishes to control the operation to liberate Sirte, rather than genuinely cooperate with its adversaries. On 5 May, the Presidential Council issued its first resolution, establishing a special operations room for military operations against ISIS in the area between Sirte and Misrata. …

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The battle to liberate Sirte from IS was long seen by supporters of the UN deal as the national unity project gelling the rival actors into an internationally supported, locally led anti-ISIS coalition. However current realities appear to paint a different picture. Over the last week, political divisions are shaping the battle as a competitive rather than a cooperative effort, …

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The sudden ISIS withdrawal from Derna on 20 April, and the lack of combat between ISIS convoys and LNA, has revived suspicions among Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) supporters that the LNA and ISIS are collaborating. Furthermore, the civilian casualties resulting from five consecutive days of LNA airstrikes against DMSC positions in Derna have enflamed the DMSC-LNA divide and undermined …

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The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) attacked an ISIS convoy en-route to Bin Jawwad on 16 April, killing ISIS senior commander Abu Hamza Al Jazairi. Al Jazairi is said to have lead ISIS missions in Bin Jawwad and Ras Lanuf. Three other ISIS militants, two Algerians and one Tunisian, were injured in the attack, as the PFG ambushed the convoy with …

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On 12 April, the Libyan Air Force (LAF) conducted an airstrike targeting an ISIS convoy traveling from Sirte towards Sidra. The LAF may soon have a new MiG-23 entering service, following refurbishment and outfitting the plane with new a night vision system, missiles, guided bombs and a refueling system. Multiple airstrikes also occurred in Benghazi during the last week, including …

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The UN-mediated Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) arrived at the naval base in Tripoli on 30 March aboard a Libyan Navy boat sailing from Tunisia. Commanders of the Libyan Navy helped secure the safe entry and protection of the Presidency Council on the base. However, the regularised local militias in Souq Al Jouma area served a …

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Nascent anti-ISIS military alliances in both western and eastern Libyan are fraying. On 28 March, a large block of Misrata’s militias issued a statement in favour of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and said they would prepare to mobilise to Tripoli to help secure the GNA. This block was confronted by another group of Misratan militias the following day, …

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The anti-ISIS coalition in Derna is showing signs of stress. On 21 March, the day after the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) released a video the interrogation of captured ISIS members, the DMSC executed eight of the detainees. This act has increased tensions between the groups, as well as their supporters, which has been steadily growing during the last two weeks. …

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Benghazi In eastern Libya, the Libyan National Army (LNA) continues to consolidate its gains in Benghazi against a coalition of jihadists affiliated with the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), Ansar Al Sharia (AAS) and ISIS. The LNA has succeeded in confining these groups to the southwestern areas of the Benghazi, mainly Guwarsha and Ganfuda, as well as, Sabri and Souq …

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The LNA’s ‘Martyrs’ Blood’ Operation’ launched on 20 February managed to retake strategic locations in Hawari and the University district in South Benghazi last week. LNA aircraft also continued to blockade the city and the coast, targeting any trawlers that have attempted to resupply or medevac fighters. Fighting has still taken place around Benghazi’s cement factory, but most of the …

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Eastern Libya The LNA’s ‘Operation Martyr’s Blood’ has had almost unprecedented success. The breakthrough was facilitated by capturing camps 36 & 319 on 21 February. These camps changed hands at least twice in two months. The last time the LNA was able to make such progress in eastern Benghazi, it was quickly stalled and lost momentum as it pushed towards …

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Aamaq, one of the ISIS media arms in Sirte, reported on the airstrikes that hit Sirte port on 15 February claiming they were carried out by the Libya Dawn faction from Misrata…In Tripoli, the Special Deterrent Force (SDF) affiliated with the General National Congress announced on 10 February that eight Tunisians were expelled from Libya for suspected ties to ISIS.

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Ibrahim Beit al-Mal, the head of the Misrata Military Council (MMC), the local umbrella of all Misratan militias, unveiled preparations to liberate Sirte from ISIS on 6 February… Meanwhile, al-Mal accused the GNC of insincerity, saying the GNC is not serious about fighting ISIS.

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Derna The DMSC announced the capture of a cell of 12 ISIS fighters in Derna last week. However, the DMSC, which is leading the combat efforts of city residents in a nominal alliance with LNA units, is reportedly beginning to show signs of discord within its ranks, due to the alleged sympathy of some members to ISIS. Western Libya Two …

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The recent controversy surrounding Haftar, combined with international media reports of an imminent western intervention, is threatening to weaken and complicate local anti-ISIS coalitions, in both Eastern and Western regions of Libya. In Eastern Libya, a number of tribes, including the Magherba and Drissi tribes (Hijazi’s tribe), are beginning to question the structure and leadership of the LNA. Hijazi himself …

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