On Sunday night 20 Dec, there were new reports of ‘unidentified’ low-flying, surveillance aircraft over ISIS territory east of Sirte, near Noufaliyah, Um Qandil and Bin Jawwad, a town just 40km from Sidra and Ras Lanuf, the largest oil terminals in Libya. Sources speculate that the aircraft are likely French jets flying from the French Carrier Charles De Gaulle…. In fact, prominent Islamists and political hardliners in Tripoli are saying that the purpose of the GNA is to rubber stamp international intervention against all Islamist forces, a potently dangerous rhetoric as it risks emboldening extremist groups and IS even further. In a recent statement by Dar Al Ifta, the religious establishment headed by the Grand Mufti in Tripoli, Sadeq Al Gheryani, the GNA is deemed against Sharia due to its illegitimate and unconstitutional origins.

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Clashes broke out in Ajdabiya on 15 December after LNA units, headed by Ltn. Mohammed Daooud Al Gabsi of border guard brigade, and Ltn. Mohammed Ebsit, deputy commander of the Ajdabiya operations room, began manhunts for members of the Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shura Council (ARSC) in the city, allegedly affiliated with Ansar Al Sharia. … In Benghazi, The Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) published some photos, showing an IED exploding against LNA soldiers in the district of Bu-Atni.

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Although UNSMIL’s Chief Bernardino Leon and Libya’s Western partners continue to staunchly promote the undertaking of negotiations to follow up on the Ghadames process, hardly any positive developments have emerged from the country during the past week.

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Despite Haftar’s exaggerations, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council is clearly feeling the heat. It has lost many of its fighters and it was reported this week that hundreds of families of shura council members had fled the city and were seeking refuge in the west of Libya.

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General Hafter launched a major offensive against his opponents in Benghazi this week. Fierce fighting has continued in the Jebel Nafusa as the Zintani brigades continue their assault against Operation Libya Dawn controlled towns in the area.

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The long expected showdown between Misratan and Zintani forces in Tripoli appears to have kicked off with control of Tripoli International Airport a key point of contention. The Foreign Ministry remains under siege and bank robberies continue.

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