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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The ease with which IS took over Hawara was surprising given that just last week members of the Awlad Suleiman tribal confederation who make up the majority of tribes in Harawa were declaring their intention to fight back hard.

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Egypt and the United Arab Emirates continue to actively support the HoR and the LNA, providing military assistance and equipment despite the UN arms embargo. However, this support is not proving enough and Haftar is making few real gains week on week. This is unlikely to deter either Egypt or the UAE from continuing to support the Tobruq camp. Both …

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For the first time in more than a year, the Operation Dignity-aligned air force conducted a joint operation with Misratan-led troops whilst fighting IS members in Sirte’s countryside. Citizens of Hawara blocked the coastal road.

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In Benghazi, intense fighting and indiscriminate, punitive shelling were registered in the Laithi, Buhdeima, Gharyounis and Gawarsha districts throughout the whole week. In Sirte, isolated clashes continue to erupt between Misratan forces belonging to the 166th battalion and local cells of the IS.

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The HoR announced this week that it wants to summon Haftar to question him about the lack of progress in Benghazi. There has been more fighting around Sirte this week as Brigade 166 continues its efforts to dislodge IS from the town.

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Hafter finally made some progress in Benghazi this week, taking almost full control of the notorious Al-Sabri neighbourhood. Fierce fighting also has continued around Sirte prompting Misrata’s Brigade 166 on 4 April to declare a curfew on the town.

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