In the coming weeks, Libya’s oil crescent is likely to witness increased tension between three actors: the Libyan National Army (LNA), the Government of National Accord-aligned Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), and renegade Islamist militias… The reversal of military momentum once more in favour of the LNA, coupled with the Islamist subversion of the GNA’s anti-ISIS, efforts is bolstering the political position of Haftar and anti-GNA factions… After several Islamist militias broke away from the GNA’s Bunyan Marsus coalition and attacked Ajdabiya on 18 June, the GNA’s political position in the oil crescent was severely compromised, and with it the standing of PFG forces loyal to Ibrahim Jadhran… Meanwhile, the GNA is still holed up in Abu Setta naval base, while other militias affiliated to Islamist forces have a freer hand in the Tripoli.

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The political damage to the Government of National Accord (GNA), following the attack on Ajdabiya on 18 June by Islamist militias, may undo fragile militia alliances in Tripoli and key towns in western Libya. Meanwhile, an escalation of open conflict between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and Islamist militias from western Libya is now very likely, and could potentially spill over into a broader tribal/regional conflict involving the LNA and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG).

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The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) establishment of the Adjabiya-Sirte operations room to coordinate the anti-ISIS campaign from the east, and de-facto reinstatement of Ibrahim Jadhran as head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in the central region, in tandem with the PFG attack on ISIS in Libya’s oil crescent, signals that a deal has been made between the GNA and local actors in the oil crescent that circumvents Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). While this dynamic effectively puts the GNA in a firm position to negotiate workable, yet temporary, alliances with rival militias to focus on the fight against ISIS, it threatens to expose the GNA to hijacking by groups that are not under its direct control, and who have no other overlapping interests than the defeat of ISIS in Sirte.

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The Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Bunyan Marsus operations room, led by Misratan Colonel Bashir Al Gadi, made significant gains against ISIS this week, advancing to within 30 kilometres of Sirte…On May 30, the Petroleoum Facilities Guard (PFG) made significant gains against ISIS from the east. PFG units took control of a number of oil fields last week, including Al Jabal and Waha Al Waha.

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In Sirte, ISIS is taking unprecedented measures as the buildup of rival Libyan forces towards a battle in Sirte is almost complete. ISIS is reported to have executed, by firing squad an army captain, named as Ahnaish Qaddafi, and two other soldiers, both bothers, as it tries to control public dissent in the town before battle commences with anti-ISIS forces …

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ISIS withdrew from Derna on 20 April after intense fighting with the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), and their Libyan National Army (LNA) allies, just days before. Sources in Derna report that ISIS retreated after their commanders issued orders to fall back to Sirte. The consolidation of ISIS forces in Sirte could mean that the group is preparing for an …

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The sudden ISIS withdrawal from Derna on 20 April, and the lack of combat between ISIS convoys and LNA, has revived suspicions among Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) supporters that the LNA and ISIS are collaborating. Furthermore, the civilian casualties resulting from five consecutive days of LNA airstrikes against DMSC positions in Derna have enflamed the DMSC-LNA divide and undermined …

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The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) attacked an ISIS convoy en-route to Bin Jawwad on 16 April, killing ISIS senior commander Abu Hamza Al Jazairi. Al Jazairi is said to have lead ISIS missions in Bin Jawwad and Ras Lanuf. Three other ISIS militants, two Algerians and one Tunisian, were injured in the attack, as the PFG ambushed the convoy with …

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Heavy fighting between ISIS and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in Garrah Al Haddad, an area between Bin Jawwad and Sidra, took place on 3 April. One PFG member was killed in the battle. That same day, ISIS issued a statement saying it had manged to thwart the advance and push the PFG eastward from Bin Jawwad.  Later, on 11 …

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On 2 April, ISIS attacked the Al Beda 47 oil field, which is owned by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company and connected by pipeline to Brega, before being pushed back by the Marada Martyrs brigade, a group that supports the Libyan National Army (LNA). On 3 April, the brigade clashed again with ISIS militants 70 kilometres west of Marada in …

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Sirte On 14 March, ISIS published a video titled ‘Messages to Benghazi’. ISIS filmed the execution of 2 Libyan National Army (LNA) soldiers, while issuing threats against Haftar loyalists in Derna and Benghazi and pledging support for jihadists fighting them. In the 21st weekly issue of the ISIS official magazine, Al Naba, the group published an interview with the new …

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As ISIS loses key personnel and territory in its battles with local fighters in Benghazi and Sabratha, the group is being forced to expedite its plans of establishing an emirate in Southern Tunisia. Developments over the course of the last two weeks indicate that ISIS has yet to find a hospitable environment in Libya, especially where Libyans have the means …

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2014 Jun June 27th: Prominent civil society activist, Salwa Bughagis, killed likely by Jihadists Jul July 14th: Libyan Abu Mahjan Al-Ta’ifi Brigade sends 50 men to Iraq to support ISIS Aug Sep Sept 8th: HoR moves against the Mufti, adding an overt religious dimension to the HoR/GNC conflict Oct Nov Nov 3rd: Shura Council of the Youth of Islam in …

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The Islamic State’s Revitalization in Libya and its Post-2016 War of Attrition March 2019 On 21 March, The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) released its March issue of Sentinel (Volume 12, issue 3), to which Libya-Analysis Jason Pack and Lachlan Wilson contributed with an article entitled ‘The Islamic State’s Revitalization in Libya and its Post-2016 War of Attrition’. Jason Pack is President of Libya …

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Militias Struggle for Control in Tripoli 10 September 2018 Libya-Analysis Founder Jason Pack was on TRT WORLD, where he discussed the recent militia tensions in Tripoli and the attack by gunmen on the Tripoli National Oil Corporation (NOC) headquarters. Understanding the Militia Tensions in Tripoli 4 September 2018 Libya-Analysis Managing Director Rhiannon Smith spoke on Voice of America’s ‘Africa News …

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A MiG-23 fighter belonging to the LNA was shot down 12 February as it bombed positions of the Mujahedeen Shura Council in Garyunes, northwest of Benghazi…Ansar Al Sharia also issued a statement after conducting an attack on five LNA posts on the western battlefront of Benghazi, publishing photographs of looted vehicles and weapons, abandoned by the retreating LNA units.

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