10 October – 16 October: LNA launches airstrikes on Chadian “mercenaries” south of Tmassah

Oct 16, 2018 | Libyan actors

On 13 October, the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched at least five airstrikes on a convoy of Chadian mercenaries thought to belong to the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR) in the southern Tmassah area and north of Umm al-Aranib. The convoy is believed to have been attempting to get to northern Chad.

On 14 October, fighting occurred between a coalition composed of the Khalid Bin Walid brigade (also known as the 104 brigade) and the Waw brigade against a Chadian militia in the Maghnai valley and Ghanema hills, east of Tmassah. From the clashes four local brigade fighters were killed, 12 wounded and 6 were kidnapped while 11 Chadian militiamen were killed and several arrested. Fighting is reported to have continued on October 15, with the Umm al-Aranib martyrs brigade, led by Bakra Sharfadin, also joining the fight against the Chadian militia. The Chadian militia is being backed by notable Chadian opposition militia figure Abdul-hakeem al-Kreedi, who is connected to the Chadian Le Front pour l’alternance et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT).

The clashes were in response to a series of kidnappings over the last week, which saw six Libyan men abducted by the Chadian armed group between al-Fuqahaa and Sebha and taken to Umm al-Aranib.

The Salafist-leaning Khalid Bin Walid brigade is commanded by Yousif Hussain Saleh and is predominately composed of Tebu fighters. Established in early August it has acted as a security force and established checkpoints on the Sebha-al-Shargiya road and Murzuq-Umm al-Aranib road.