24 Apr-May 1: LNA fight against Jihadists in Benghazi continues

May 2, 2017 | Other Jihadi Actors

Intermittent clashes between Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and jihadists are ongoing in Sabri and Souq al-Hout in central Benghazi, with two LNA fighters killed last week. On 26 April, the LNA conducted 10 airstrikes against jihadist positions. On 26 April, jihadists demolished the third bridge between Sidi Youness area and Sabri, and on 28 April they brought down an iconic high rise flat in the city centre near the port.  On 27 April, Ansar al-Sharia’s Talot Foundation, operating under the banner of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), claimed responsibility for the demolition of several bridges in the Sabri area over the last few weeks. On 1 May, one civilian was killed and two others injured when several rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) hit Benghazi’s Leithi district.

On 29 April, a new video was published showing Wissam Bin Hamid, the self styled leader of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), delivering a message to his followers. In the video, Bin Hamid laments the lack of support received by jihadists from many Libyan cities, but promises a comeback. This is Bin Hamid’s first appearance since December 2016 and appears to indicate that he was not killed by LNA airstrikes and buried in Ganfuda, as had been widely rumored.

A high profile al-Qaeda leader from Derna has reportedly been handed over to the LNA following his transfer from Turkey to Jordan, then from Jordan to Libya. The man in question is most likely Abdul Basset Azouz, who was apprehended on 13 November 2014 by Turkish authorities in Yalova, Turkey in a joint operation with the CIA.