In Benghazi, on 10 December the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced a unilateral ceasefire and started to allow families held in conflict areas to travel to safety. The LNA also made some gains against jihadis in the besieged area of Ganfuda, seizing a large arms cache and IED depot in the area last week. However, ISIS and BRSC jihadists and suicide bombers are still able to launch attacks. On 5 December, an ISIS suicide attack targeted LNA forces in the ‘Customs Hangar’ area in Gar Younis. On 7 December, a suicide vehicle was detonated outside the LNA’s Special Forces (Saiqa) camp in Boatni. The attack was claimed by ISIS. ISIS and BRSC fighters also remain the city centre areas close to the port.
A video clip was also found, reportedly on the body of a jihadi fighter in Ganfuda, showing Seifallah Ben Hassine (Abu Iyadh), the deceased leader of Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia, eulogizing Mohammed Zahawi in Benghazi. Zahawi, leader of the Ansar al-Sharia (AS) and BRSC coalition was killed during battle with the LNA in Benina airbase in October 2014, while Abu Iyadh was reported killed in an American airstrike on 17 June. The video highlights a potential link between AS jihadists in Libya and Tunisia.
On 8 December, the LNA launched airstrikes on a BDB base in Jufra, where some fighters retreated following their failed attack on the oil crescent the day before. The airstrikes reportedly killed a high profile BDB commander from Ajdabiya, al-Kilani Abu Nowwara, who was also formerly associated with Ansar al-Sharia.
On 9 December, Misratan BM forces stormed a camp in the Temmina area of Misrata after units from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) retreated there following their failed attack on the oil crescent on 7 December. The Misratan municipality has also issued an order preventing ships sailing from Misrata to Benghazi, in an attempt to cut off relief supplies to jihadi fighters in Benghazi. Through their anti-ISIS operations in Sirte, some al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces, particularly anti-Islamist Salafists ‘Madkhalis’, have come to believe that ISIS is intimately linked with the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) and the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), and they now appear to be taking measures to combat these groups.