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 militants also set the Benghazi Security Directorate on fire, completely destroying the complex. Militant forces declared that they are now in complete control of the city. These victories by the Islamists have put Khalifa Haftar’s Operation Dignity on the back foot. Although Dignity is pressing ahead with attacks on Islamist targets, it is struggling. Despite repeated attacks against Islamist bases, the Islamists remain entrenched and are reportedly still being supplied with weapons, including a recent shipment that arrived via Sirte Airport. This entrenchment is prompting fears that the Islamists might declare an Islamic emirate in Benghazi, and push to extend their control into other eastern towns.
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. Jadhran declared that he wanted the CTC to bring together army officers from the Cyrenaican tribes to “lead the battle against the terrorists.”