15 – 21 Mar: LNA ‘liberates’ Ganfuda, Retakes Oil Crescent and Attacks South

Mar 21, 2017 | Other Jihadi Actors

On 18 March, the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced they had ‘liberated’ the ‘12 Flats’ area in Ganfuda, in south-west Benghazi.  Reports indicate that 7 LNA fighters and 43 jihadist fighters were killed in the final assault, including Ansar al-Sharia commanders Fawzi al-Faydi and Salem Shatwan. According to the LNA, the only remaining jihadist forces in Benghazi are now in Sabri and Souq al-Hout areas, in the city’s central district. On 17 March, there were reports that the LNA had started heavy airstrikes and shelling against jihadist positions in these areas.

On 14 March, a counter offensive by the Libyan National Army (LNA), succeeded in retaking the Oil Crescent, including Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil ports, from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB). The BDB had managed to take and control these ports for 11 days. The LNA advanced all the way to the 50km checkpoint east of Sirte, where the Misratan-led al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces are based. This was partly because the BDB forces withdrew from their positions as the LNA advanced.

On 20 March, LNA forces in southern Libya launched an offensive against Teminhint airbase near Sebha, where the Government of National Accord (GNA) affiliated Misratan Third Forces are based. The road from Jufra to Sebha has reportedly been blocked. Significantly, this LNA force includes the 166 brigade, a military unit commanded by Masoud Ben Jaddou who is a member of the powerful Awlad Suliman tribe in Sebha.