Charting the conflict in Libya since the destruction of IS’ urban stronghold.
ISIS’ prospects in Libya
Jan 2017, Feb 2017, March 2017 & April 2017
ISIS’ control over Sitre was a bulwark for their continued political and military relevance within the Libyan conflict. Through the course of 2016, their control of Sitre dwindled under the withering effect of continued assaults by GNA (Government of National Accord) militias, and coalition airstrikes. By the 18th of November 2016, ISIS held a single square kilometre of Sitre. By the 6th of December 2016, they only held a few compounds, and ultimately not even that.
Since their rout from Sitre in December 2016, ISIS’ prospects in Libya have been bleak. ISIS’ waning influence within Libya demonstrates their loss of momentum as an international jihadist force. However, it may not lead to any greater stability within Libya, or the reduction of Salafist inspired uprisings within Arab/African regions. Sitre serves as a significant reference point for the success of ISIS’ territorially focused interpretation of Jihad. Despite this major step forward, LNA and GNA forces continue to clash, Islamist forces contest most major cities and regions, and the Libyan Crisis continues unabated.
In this series, we chart the aftermath of this battle, and the unfolding events within the North African region.
Situation of Forces:
• 18th of January
o Two ISIS camps to the south of Sitre destroyed, killing up to 90 IS militants.
o US General for Africa claims Libya ‘no longer the backup plan for ISIS’
• 7th March
o Benghazi Defense Brigade(BDB) declare their intent to continue fighting Haftar and the LNA. LNA’s besiegement of ISIS and BDB
• 11th of March
o Two LNA soldiers beheaded by Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB)
• 14th of March
o The LNA recent seized oil points of Sidra and Ras Lanuf from BDB
o LNA launch counter attack against the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) from Brega. By the afternoon of 14 March, LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari claimed that the BDB forces had retreated to Misrata and Jufra,
• 24th of March
o UN Security Council Ambassadors issue joint statement condemning the violence in Libya and encouraging a peaceful accord.
• 29th of March
o LNA plane downed in residential area, pilot and three civilians dead.
• 5th April
o LNA General announces ground assault against Tamenhint airbase in East Libya. Airstrikes commence.
• 6th April
o GNA government planes fight LNA planes in Libyan airspace.
o Four human traffickers killed off the coast of Libyan by Libyan Coast Guard
Written by Lawrie Clapton.