In Eastern Libya, in the early hours of Sunday morning 7 February, unidentified aircraft carried out three separate air raids on residential locations in the Bab Tubruq area of Derna, killing civilians and fighters affiliated with the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC). The air strikes also hit a hospital, a mosque and a residential flat causing excessive damage. The DMSC released a statement denouncing the attack, reiterating their claims of collusion between Haftar’s LNA forces and the ‘criminal IS regime’. They also said that Bab Tubruq was a key defense post for MSCD forces against IS, and that the airstrikes took place simultaneously with two IS attacks on the ground; heavy artillery shelling on Bab Tubruq and outflanking of MSCD forces in Al Fatieh. The statement also blamed local antagonists for inciting the airstrikes and leaking coordinates of MSCD fighters to the LNA aircraft. However, the LNA spokesperson Ahmed Manfour categorically denied any involvement of the LNA in the airstrikes.
On 8 February an LNA aircraft targeted ISIS locations in Al Hajjaj in the hills overlooking the eastern coastal area of Derna (Al Sahel). As the aircraft was on its return flight to Labraq airbase (70 km west of Darnah) it was targeted with anti-aircraft guns by members of Ansar Al Sharia in the city.
AAS managed to down the plane, while the pilot managed to eject to safety beforehand. ‘Al Raya institution’, Ansar Al Sharia’s main media arm in Libya issued a statement to confirm that air defense unit of AAS downed an Operation Dignity Jet.
In Benghazi, militants presumably affiliated to Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) have published images of the arrival of very expensive Armasight thermal imaging devices and other advanced equipment on 8 February, indicating the extent of BRSC arms supply.