Al-Hassi was previously the commander of LNA operations in Derna where he has performed well and succeeded in getting anti-ISIS Islamist militias to work together with anti-Islamist Haftar forces. In short, Hassi represents the “broad Mosque” model that is needed to forge any feasible anti-ISIS coaltion in Benghazi.

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In Benghazi, Haftar’s operation Doom forces continue to pound strongholds of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) and allied extremist elements including Ansar Al Sharia and IS with airstrikes, mortars, and heavy artillery.

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After horrific ISIS activities in Sirte the previous week, on Wednesday 19 August, the Arab League held an extraordinary meeting in Cairo, offering a general pledge to help Libya in its fight against extremism and terrorism.

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During the past week, Haftar has also concentrated his efforts on retaining key support from local tribes and notables, meeting with elders and representatives of tribes from Benghazi, Benina, al-Abiar, Sulouq, al-Tukra and al-Rajma.

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The Misrata military and local councils called on all brigades to make themselves ready for action while Brigade 166, which withdrew from Sirte a few weeks ago, and is now based in Abu Ghrayn has been placed on high alert.

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There has been no significant shift in the balance of power in Benghazi, but LNA forces were able to take advantage of the in-fighting between IS and other militant groups in Derna this week to finally make some advances.

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