15 May – 21 May: ISIS attacks a LNA checkpoint near Zilla

May 21, 2019 | ISIS

On 20 May, the Sirte Protection Forces (SPF) claimed to have intercepted communications of ISIS fighters planning to undertake a retributive assault on Sirte. Over the past week, Libyan media outlets have also claimed that ISIS has been mobilising south of al-Uqayla.

On 18 May, ISIS fighters travelling in six vehicles attacked a Libyan National Army (LNA) checkpoint near Zilla, killing two LNA fighters and kidnapping four others. The eastern-based parallel government claimed three of the abducted LNA fighters were freed after security forces pursued the assailants – the status of the fourth kidnapped LNA fighter remains unclear. One of the ISIS fighters is reported to have detonated a person-borne improvised explosive device (PBIED) to prevent being captured. ISIS media outlets later claimed responsibility for the attack.

The head of the LNA’s Eastern and Central Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), Major General Naji al-Maghrabi, stated the attack had not occurred at Zilla oilfield, but 20 km south-west of the facilities. More specifically, the Zueitina Oil Company, a National Oil Corporation (NOC) subsidiary that operates the small oilfield, stated the attack took place at a checkpoint on the road from Zilla to Waddan, located around 7km south of the field and 15km from the town. The NOC further indicated there was no immediate impact on operations.

On 17 May, ISIS released its al-Naba newsletter no. 182, which featured a report on the group’s raid on Ghadduwa on 9 May.

On 13 May, ISIS published photos of the group’s members daily lives in the Fezzan during Ramadan dubbed “Diary of a Mujahadeen in Ramadan.”