The GNA officially declared the operation against ISIS in Sirte victorious although BM forces continue to sweep the city for mines, explosives and fighters, while US AFRICOM continues to provide support to monitor Sirte and the surrounding area.
Results for "Sirte"
BM forces continue to sweep Sirte for remaining ISIS fighters, mines and IEDs. Hundreds of bodies have been recovered, including many from who are believed to be ISIS fighters from Derna. A mayor for Sirte was elected however BM forces have rejected him as being pro-Haftar and have appointed their own military governor.
In Sirte, the BM forces finally declared victory against IS forces on 5 December, following heavy fighting and US airstrikes, and on 6 December they said they were securing the last few buildings in the area.
The beheading of a family in Khoms indicates ISIS fighters may have infiltrated the city, although the perpetrators of the attack are unknown. In Sirte, house-to-house fighting is taking place in the remaining few buildings where ISIS fighters are based, although BM forces continue to suffer losses.
BM forces are making slow but steady gains against ISIS in Sirte however they continue to suffer casualties and there are worrying signs that ISIS still has the capacity to resist and attack elsewhere, with ISIS posting pictures of checkpoints to the south of Sirte.
BM forces said last week that the area of Sirte controlled by ISIS fighters is now ‘less than the size of a football pitch’, while Trump’s anti-ISIS stance mean both pro-GNA and pro-Haftar forces are hopeful that they will receive support from the new US administration in their fights against ISIS and other jihadis.
BM forces stormed ISIS’s stronghold of al-Jiza al-Bahriya in Sirte last week, evacuating families used as human shields. BM forces are expected to declare victory against ISIS in Sirte soon.
In Sirte, the BM spokesperson also said BM forces are allowing any civilians still living in the densely populated al-Jiza al-Bahriya area to evacuate before they make their ‘final’ assault.
In Sirte, the Misratan-led Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces, who are aligned with the GNA, have continued their assault against the remaining ISIS fighters in the city, while in Benghazi ISIS fighters engaged the LNA in Gawarsha.
Battles continued last week between the Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned, Misratan-led ‘Bunyan Marsus’ (BM) forces and Islamic State (ISIS) in Sirte. Despite repeated announcements of the city’s imminent liberation by BM forces, the end does not yet appear to be in sight.
ISIS forces are still entrenched within a roughly one square kilometre enclave in north-east Sirte and continue to inflict casualties on their Misratan opponents through their use of snipers and explosive devices. This week, the Misratan forces made further gains against the remaining ISIS fighters, with support from US air strikes.
After a lull in fighting last week, Bunyan al-Marsus forces launched a fresh offensive on ISIS-held areas of Sirte. They sustained heavy losses, while in an area of the city supposedly secured by BM forces, a Dutch journalist was killed by an ISIS sniper.
In Sirte, Misratan forces continue to battle ISIS fighters who remain barricaded in their stronghold in north-eastern Sirte. The Misratans suffered heavy losses last week after a renewed push to take the ISIS-held area, while ISIS fighters also launched a surprise attack against Sirte port.
In Sirte, Misratan-led forces have begun a final push to destroy remaining pockets of ISIS in Sirte, while clashes have broken out between ISIS fighters and other militias to the south of Sirte, confirming that some ISIS members have managed to seep out of the city.
In Sirte, the Misratan-led Bunyan al-Marsus forces have continued to make gains against the remaining ISIS forces, which are now holed up in a very small section of the city. However, progress is slow because the Misratans continue to suffer losses from sniper fire and suicide attacks.
The Misratan-led Al-Bunyan Al-Marsus forces are now very close to completely defeating ISIS in Sirte. The ISIS HQ in Sirte has been taken and was visited last week by the PM Fayez Al Serraj and some members of the GNA Presidential Council.
In Sirte, fighting halted last week but resumed fiercely on 27 August. The break in the fighting was reportedly to allow wives and children of ISIS fighters to exit the conflict zone towards the southwest, though there is no evidence confirming this actually took place. It is likely that key ISIS commanders will have taken advantage of this lull in fighting to escape to the south, meaning the destruction of ISIS in Sirte will not mean the eradication of ISIS in Libya… On 28 August, Bunyan Marsus (BM) fighters aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) closed in on ISIS-held districts 1 and 3 of Sirte. At least 35 were killed and more than 180 injured as a result of fierce fighting and reportedly 14 attempted SVBIED attacks by ISIS.
The Bunyan Marsus coalition continued its steady advance deep into the center of Sirte, taking major residential areas throughout the week with the help of US airstrikes. ISIS militants still fighting in these areas continue to show fierce resistance using snipers, mortars and SVBIEDs, but the gains made by Bunyan Marsus indicate that the entirety of Sirte may be liberated within the next two weeks.
The Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus coalition made great gains against ISIS in Sirte, pushing ISIS out of its stronghold in Ouagadougu Centre, Ibn Sina Hospital and Sirte University on 11 August. All three buildings were bastions of ISIS rule in the city, and the group’s downfall represents a significant degradation of its presence and control. Paradoxically, the GNA’s impending victory over ISIS is also a moment of rapid decline in its legitimacy. This observation was recognized by UN special envoy Martin Kobler in a recent interview, saying that popular support for the GNA is crumbling due to worsening economic and security conditions throughout Libya.
Two major pronouncements were made this week. 1. Misratan forces continued their protracted advance into Sirte as battles supposedly moved into what Banyan Marsus is calling their ‘final stages’. 2. Simultaneously as the fight against ISIS has become less popular for some militia men in Tripoli, non-ISIS jihadis such as the grand mufti are expressing support for ISIS…. US support is also fuelling divides with Misratan ranks between pro-GNA formations and more anti-GNA hard-line militias. These divides may escalate the closer the BM gets to victory in Sirte. Anti GNA sentiment remains high in Misratan ranks, with many fighters rumoured to be actively ready to move against the GNA in Tripoli after victory in Sirte.
After fierce fighting on 28-30 July, the Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus coalition took full control of the Hay Dollar area in Sirte. The operation has thus far cost more than 300 Bunyan Marsus lives, with another 1,500 injured… On 1 August, Government of National Accord Prime Minister Fayez Serraj made a televised speech announcing the beginning of US airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte, following a formal request by the Presidential Council.
In western Libya, the Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus coalition made more gains against ISIS this week in Sirte. The coalition took control of the Hay El Dollar and Area “2” while continuing to conduct airstrikes against ISIS positions in the Ouagadougou complex. Despite these advances, the fight with ISIS is likely to be prolonged as the group continues to mount suicide vehicle attacks in a number of Misratan-controlled areas. The Sirte port remains under Bunyan Marsus control, despite continued ISIS attempts to retake the port using targeted suicide attacks.
Fighting this week focused on the ISIS stronghold in the Ouagadougou Centre, Ibn Sina Hospital and Sirte University areas, with airstrikes and helicopter gunships featuring heavily in the battles. In short, very little progress is being made to dislodge ISIS from these areas. ISIS fighters still appear to have a presence in areas previously taken by Bunyan Marsus in Sirte’s south and west, and ISIS also appears to be attempting to flank Bunyan Marsus, indicating a more prolonged guerrilla war in the city.
In Sirte, the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Bunyan Marsus coalition continues to advance in the city, tightening the noose around ISIS militants holed up in its central areas… Bunyan Marsus leaders have said they expect the battle to be completed within the next two weeks, although other analysts predict a more drawn out battle… There is a suspicion that the senior ISIS leadership has already evacuated from Sirte. Informed sources say that Libyan ISIS members have attempted to defect to friendly Islamist militias south of Sirte, some of whom are nominally aligned with the Misratans.
The port of Sirte port is now reportedly under the control of the Government of National Accord’s Bunyan Marsus coalition, after it managed to fully recapture the Suwawa area from ISIS on 1 July. Last week saw intensive fighting, with Misratan fighters making significant advances into the city, retaking the Zafaraan area and 700 residential district on 2 July. Meanwhile, airstrikes and heavy artillery continued to pound ISIS targets throughout the week.
The GNA’s Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus operations room launched a massive ground assault on 21 June in an attempt to capture the centre of Sirte. However, ISIS snipers and IED’s repeatedly dealt Bunyan Marsus significant losses throughout the week… At this time, Bunyan Marsus commanders estimate only 500-700 ISIS fighters remain in the city, contrary to higher estimates by the CIA and other foreign military sources.
This week witnessed the slowing momentum of the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) anti–ISIS operation in Sirte, as fierce ISIS counterattacks stalled the operation’s advance. This development is chiefly attributed to two factors: 1) ISIS is beginning to push back on the Bunyan Marsus advance inside Sirte, successfully and repeatedly hitting GNA forces behind their own front lines, and 2) the ‘defection’ of the hardline Islamist factions (e.g. Benghazi Defense Brigade) and other associated militias.
GNA-aligned forces from Misrata managed to take full control of Sirte port’s and eastern coastline in Sawawa on 10 June. Libyan navy vessels blockaded the port as GNA forces advanced from the southeast, aided by airstrikes throughout last week. ISIS is currently hemmed into 20 square kilometers at Sirte’s center. Further, ISIS has lost control of all its coastal territory and the port will likely be used as a key transport route for GNA forces until ISIS is eliminated.
The Government of National Accord’s Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus operation room continued to make significant strides against ISIS this week, advancing to within two kilometres southwest of Sirte, and forcing ISIS to retreat towards the city. However, this does not mean that a frontal assault on Sirte is imminent. Despite its recent losses, ISIS is still rumoured to have sleeper cells in and around Surman, Misrata and Sabratha.
ISIS control of Libya’s coastline has been reduced to approximately 200 km east and west of Sirte… Significant gains made by the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces converging on Sirte from the west and southwest have thrown the ISIS rank and file into noticeable chaos.
The war between Misrata and ISIS is heating up. Simultaneously, Haftar has not engaged ISIS in any meaningful way this week. Although most of the talk of offensives against Sirte is comprised of hot air, real engagements have started to kick off on the Misratan side and these are likely to occasion countermeasures by ISIS. For example, On 22 May, landmines left by ISIS near Abu Grein killed an LNA officer and wounded two soldiers.
ISIS now controls almost 300 kilometres of Libyan coastline and has expanded its control to seven other towns 150 kilometres west and southwest of Sirte. Residents of Sirte have reported tighter ISIS security measures, in addition to widespread stockpiling of food and supplies, anticipating an imminent attack on the city. A large proportion of the […]
A surprise ISIS attack on Misratan Military Council forces in Abu Grein this week has allowed ISIS to capture several towns southwest of Sirte and rapidly institute its control over the local population. The attack, which occurred on 5 and 6 May, included two suicide bombings (by Tunisian ISIS members). The fighting killed 12 Misratans […]
In Sirte, ISIS is taking unprecedented measures as the buildup of rival Libyan forces towards a battle in Sirte is almost complete. ISIS is reported to have executed, by firing squad an army captain, named as Ahnaish Qaddafi, and two other soldiers, both bothers, as it tries to control public dissent in the town before […]
ISIS withdrew from Derna on 20 April after intense fighting with the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), and their Libyan National Army (LNA) allies, just days before. Sources in Derna report that ISIS retreated after their commanders issued orders to fall back to Sirte. The consolidation of ISIS forces in Sirte could mean that the […]
ISIS attacked the ‘28 May’ militia near Sadada on 13 April, beheading militia leaders, looting large amounts of munitions, and destroying the remaining armaments that could not be transported from the camp. Some sources report that the ISIS militants who conducted the operation did so without direction from ISIS senior command in Sirte, and that […]
Heavy fighting between ISIS and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in Garrah Al Haddad, an area between Bin Jawwad and Sidra, took place on 3 April. One PFG member was killed in the battle. That same day, ISIS issued a statement saying it had manged to thwart the advance and push the PFG eastward from […]
On 2 April, ISIS attacked the Al Beda 47 oil field, which is owned by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company and connected by pipeline to Brega, before being pushed back by the Marada Martyrs brigade, a group that supports the Libyan National Army (LNA). On 3 April, the brigade clashed again with ISIS militants 70 […]
ISIS is consolidating its grip on Sirte and the surrounding regions, while executions of members of the large local tribes Furnaj and Gadadafa have continued. ISIS reportedly executed three Libyan National Army soldiers in Sirte on 25 March after they were kidnapped in their hometown of Ajdabiya, while on leave from Benghazi. Another man was […]
ISIS continues to keep a tight grip on Sirte despite increasing hardship faced by the city’s population. Basic food and other items are increasingly scarce, while the exodus of Sirte’s residents is ongoing. ISIS has also enforced mandatory Sharia courses and regularly conducted raids on the homes of local dissidents. An ISIS video statement on […]
Sirte On 14 March, ISIS published a video titled ‘Messages to Benghazi’. ISIS filmed the execution of 2 Libyan National Army (LNA) soldiers, while issuing threats against Haftar loyalists in Derna and Benghazi and pledging support for jihadists fighting them. In the 21st weekly issue of the ISIS official magazine, Al Naba, the group published […]
As ISIS loses key personnel and territory in its battles with local fighters in Benghazi and Sabratha, the group is being forced to expedite its plans of establishing an emirate in Southern Tunisia. Developments over the course of the last two weeks indicate that ISIS has yet to find a hospitable environment in Libya, especially […]
Since 16 February, the last edition of the Eye on ISIS in Libya report, major shifts in ISIS presence and impact in Libya have taken place, reducing the threat somewhat in Eastern Libya, while escalating it in Western Libya. In Eastern Libya, ISIS lost its bastion of Al Lithi in Benghazi on 23 February. This […]
ISIS continues to fight for survival in Benghazi and Derna, while consolidating its forces in Sirte and Harwah. As talk of an international campaign to combat ISIS in Libya intensifies, along with the mobilization of Misratan forces, ISIS is preparing itself for a long battle…In Sirte last week, ISIS reportedly declared a state of emergency, recalling forces from Bin Jawad, and vacating seaside homes it had occupied.
ISIS’s ‘Wilayat Tarabulus’ media arm released pictures of a training ‘camp’ near Sirte named “Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir”. Photos showed approximately 50 members engaged in shooting practice with different assault and mounted weapons in the desert… On 1 February, the oil pipeline between Al Entisar oilfield and Zueitina port exploded, likely the result of an ISIS attack. Additionally, three IEDs were reportedly found in the Abu-Attifel oilfield near the pipeline, indicating the a sustained ISIS campaign against oil infrastructure in the region.
Derna ISIS,local jihadist forces controlling the city and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) continue to fight in the areas of Al Fatieh south of the cityand in the Sahel region overlooking the eastern coastline. Despite ongoing violence fighting has occurred at a noticeably reduced rate relative to previous weeks. Local sources also report that […]
Sirte ISIS continues to assertively maintain its control of the city, and has intensified its crackdown on local dissent, executing 25 residents on 22 January in the city square for various offenses. Sources in the city report a dramatic increase in ISIS raids against specific households and neighborhoods in Hay 2, Hay 3 and the […]
ISIS media activities have increased noticeably since their assault on the Oil Crescent and attack on the Ras Lanuf pipeline on Jan 13th . In addition to other material published by ISIS media affiliates inside Libya, three short films were published outside of Libya. The releases entitled “Bewitching and Terrorizing people”, “Country of Liberators” and […]
The Assault on the Oil Crescent – ‘The Battle of Abu Al Mughira’ The 3 day ISIS assault on oil crescent ports last week was successfully thwarted by the Petroleum Facilities Guard forces (PFG) and local volunteers. Nine PFG forces and around 30 IS members were killed in these clashes which destroyed over a billion […]
The ISIS campaign to advance from Sirte to the ports in the oil crescent region has entered full swing with the 4 January attack on Sidra terminal. The attackers used two suicide trucks (VBIED’s), one destroying the main checkpoint to the terminal and the other in the airfield strip. The new ISIS offensive seems to […]
ISIS told residents that anyone caught celebrating Libya’s independence day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve would be punished. Last week, a young local who participated in the revolt against ISIS in the summer was also executed…. New reports suggest that the group is using land in Harawah previously owned by Col. Abdallah Mansour, a Qadhafi loyalist, as training grounds for their fighters.
Rumors are rife throughout Sirte and local social media regarding the arrival of key ISIS personalities from Iraq…. In Tripoli, a Sufi Zawiya (shrine) was bombed in the city center area of Abu Meshmasha in the late hours of Monday 21 December.
Establishing a New Social Contract for Sirte: A recent edition of Dabiq, the official magazine of IS, published an interview with the current ISIS leader in Libya, Abu Mughira, shedding light on how its senior leaderships view the strategic value of Libya to its overall expansion. In the article, Abu Mughira underscores Libya’s location and resources as the key pillars for the ISIS expansion in the country, adding that all Muslims have a right to these resources, and that control over them will lead to economic breakdowns for Europe, especially Italy.
In Tripoli, pro-GNC militias captured an alleged member of ISIS last week. The captive, a Tunisian, detailed ISIS activities throughout Libya, implicating Murad Al-Gumati, leading to his murder by the Tripoli Rada militia (AKA special deterrence forces or – قوة الردع الخاصة). The incident follows on last week’s assault on an official of the religious affairs ministry who was accused of having ISIS affiliations. Although the Rada enjoys popularity in the capital as a keeper of law and order (such as these concepts are understood in Libya) the Salafist affiliation of Rada’s commander, Abdulraouf Kara, may have encouraged him to provoke a “black-on-black” fight between Islamist militias that are pro and anti-ISIS.
ISIS continues to try to consolidate its hold of Sirte and reportedly clashed with Misuratan forces between Sirte and Jufra.
Unidentified jets bombed ISIS targets while ISIS continued is executions in Sirte.
Islamic State assassinated three men in Ajdabiya and executed men in Sirte and from Derna.
Islamic State is refocusing away from Derna and toward Sirte. It is imposing internal discipline on its fighters in Sirte and attacking towards Misrata.
Islamic State (IS) attacks the oil terminal at Sidra while fighting continues between IS and the Derna Mujahedeen Shoura Council in Derna.
Islamic State is consolidating its control over Sirte.
Heavy fighting continued in Benghazi and Derna while ISIS exacted grim reprisals against the Farjani tribe and Salafis in Sirte.
IS has now reportedly taken control of al-Wushka and Wadi Zamzam, located 65 and 105 miles to the West of Sirte respectively, while one of their Benghazi commanders, Imad Zway, was killed in Benghazi.
IS continues to grow and strengthen its position in Sirte and in the surrounding region, adopting an increasingly aggressive stance.
IS is continuing to make small but highly significant gains in central Libya. Having taken the town of Suwawa last week, this week saw it capture Wushka.
IS made further gains in Sirte this week, taking control of a power plant to the west of the town on 9 June.
IS now has control of Harawa, Sirte and Nawfaliya prompting serious concerns that it will continue to expand along the coastal area, ultimately posing a serious threat to the Oil Crescent area and Misrata.
Tripoli Militant Islamist groups are also operating in Tripoli and in other western towns and there was evidence this week that ISIS – Tripoli Wilaya is stepping up its rhetoric in the capital. ISIS called on parents to withdraw their daughters from Tripoli University and other educational establishments on the grounds that they should not […]
Sirte and its surrounding region witnessed a week of intense fighting, which has so far led to IS militants consolidating their grip over the area. Benghazi witnessed a renewed spike in violence.
In Sirte, isolated clashes continue to erupt between Misratan forces belonging to the 166th battalion and local cells of the IS. Besides establishing two safe havens for training and R&R activities in Derna and Sirte, IS cells are reportedly building up their presence and capabilities in western Libya, especially inside Tripoli.
Besides establishing two safe havens for training and R&R activities in Derna and Sirte, IS cells are reportedly building up their presence and capabilities in western Libya, especially inside Tripoli.
IS launched another attack on Misrata this week, detonating a car bomb on 5 April at the Sadada checkpoint to the east of the city. Operation Libya Dawn looks as far as ever from dislodging IS from Sirte. IS fighters are in key positions inside Sirte and clearly have no intention of backing down.
ISIS are still present around the nearby town of Nawfiliya, which Sunrise forces took back last week. ISIS fighters are reported to have set up a checkpoint at the entrance to Nawfiliya in recent days. ISIS also carried out a suicide bombing this week against Operation Sunrise forces at an electricity plant 15 km west of Sirte. The attack was executed shortly after Operation Sunrise planes bombed ISIS positions in the town.
Several members of the Petroleum Facilities Guards were killed in attacks on the Al-Ghani and Dhahra fields and nine foreigners were kidnapped. Most blame Islamic State for the attacks while some blame Libya Dawn.
The Islamic State released video directed at foreign fighters, calling on them to come to Libya because “the state of Islam is expanding.” UN-sponsored peace talks that were due to take place in Morocco on 26 February were postponed following the HoR’s announcement last week that it was suspending its participation in the process.
ISIS in Sirte (Tripoli Wilayat) released a video depicting the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on 15 February. ISIS elements extended their control over parts of Sirte this week. On 13 February gunmen attacked the Bahi oil facility.
On Wednesday 4 February, approximately 40 gunmen assaulted an oilfield in Mabruk, 170 kilometres south of Sirte, damaging its infrastructure, killing ten and abducting three Filipinos and two Nigerians workers present on site.
ISIS-cells inside Libya appear to be increasingly assertive and to be developing the potential to influence military and political events at the national level, including UN-backed negotiations and the overall dialogue process. An explosive device was detonated outside of the Algerian Embassy in Tripoli and 21 Coptic Christians were abducted in Sirte.
In Sirte, the security situation continues to spiral out of control due to a multiplicity of militias.
On 13 December a group of brigades from Misrata in conjunction with Ansar al-Sharia in Sirte began advancing on the oil crescent in an attempt to ‘liberate’ the country’s energy facilities.
Sirte continues to be the object of a struggle between Misrata-aligned forces and radical Islamist groups aligned with Ansar al-Shari’a. Derna continues to be a hotbed of radical Islamist militias.
The situation in Derna remains unaltered with radical IS-aligned groups maintaining control of the city and of its infrastructure. Operation Dignity forces continue to enforce a blockade over the city’s port and carried out aerial attacks as recently as Wednesday 26 November.
Two car bomb attacks were carried out in the capital this week, one against the Egyptian embassy and the other against the embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
The Islamic State (IS) of Abu Bakr Baghdadi in Iraq and Syria is still winning over supporters in Derna. A second forum was held in the town this week at which local militants belonging to the Shura Council of the Youth of Islam in Derna pledged their allegiance to Baghdadi and his Islamic State.