Benghazi has been the scene of further violence as General Khalifa Haftar renewed his attacks against Islamist targets in key neighbourhoods of the city. Libyan Air Force (LAF) commander Saccar Jurushi confirmed this week that LAF jets had carried out a number of airstrikes in Derna. Reports emerged on 18 August that several camps belonging to Libya Dawn in Tripoli were the targets of airstrikes. As of yet it is not clear who was responsible for the attack.

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Following the series of victories by Islamist militants, fighting under the banner of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), against Libyan National Army Special Forces targets last week, Genral Khalifa Haftar is trying hard to prove that he is not a spent force. Special Forces fighting with Operation Dignity attacked a number of militant bases in the Benghazi neighbourhood of Sidi Faraj this week, clashing with members of Ansar Al-Sharia.

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Islamist militants, who are part of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), staged a major attack on the main Libyan Special Forces (Saiqa) base in Benghazi, overrunning the camp and forcing Saiqa troops to evacuate. The head of the politburo of the Cyrenaican Transitional Council (CTC), Ibrahim Jadhran, who led the protests at the eastern ports, announced his intention this week to set up a military council in Cyrenaica to support Operation Dignity.

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Tripoli continues to be gripped by violence as the battle between Zintani-led brigades and those from Misrata rages on. The area surrounding the Tripoli International Airport (TIA) has become a battle zone, while fighting has been reported in several Tripoli neighbourhoods, as well as in front of the Interior Ministry.

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Violence has continued, especially in Benghazi where General Khalifa Haftar is still battling it out against Islamist militants. Meanwhile, Tripoli and its environs have been witness to an increase in kidnappings and violence, with three Europeans being abducted this week from Zuwara. Insecurity has also persisted to the west of the capital with competing militias clashing.

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Clashes erupted in Tripoli’s western suburb of Janzour between members of the Special Operations Force, which belongs to the Interior Ministry, and a revolutionary brigade with Islamist leanings called the Knights of Janzour, which is now part of the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR). General Khalifa Haftar continued his assault on Benghazi.

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Prominent militia critic and civil society activist, Salwa Bughagis, was killed after casting her vote in the parliamentary election, demonstrating the escalation of violence in Libya.

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The rhetoric on both sides of Operation Dignity intensified on 15 June, when Haftar said that all “terrorists” coming to Libya should leave now or “die here.” In turn, the Grand Mufti called for “revolutionaries” to wage jihad against Haftar and his followers. Heavy fighting in Benghazi and Dignity attacks on boats in the ports of Benghazi and Derna ensued.

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Even before the Tubroq/Tripoli split and the rise of ISIS, Libya’s politics had ossified into a confrontation between two loose umbrella groupings, with each containing different militias as well as local and national political actors: the Islamist bloc which holds power in the GNC and their anti-Islamist opponents who have held the power in the executive from November 2012 until May 2014.

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