Action 29 Nov 2016

Nov 29, 2016 | ISIS

On 25 November, four members of a single family were beheaded in their house in Khoms, with graffiti left behind claiming ISIS was responsible. The motive and perpetrators of the attack are unknown, but locals say that the family belongs to a branch of Salafism whose members have had an active role fighting against ISIS in Sirte. This incident follows an attack last month on another leading Salafist in Khoms, whose wife died in the attack. These attacks could point to increased tensions between Salafists (Madkhalis) and ISIS or al-Qaeda sympathisers in the region.

In Sirte, the GNA-affiliated al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) fighters are slowly blasting their way through the remaining buildings in Sirte’s al-Jiza al-Bahriya district. This is the last ISIS enclave in the city and now reportedly consists of only a few dozen buildings. However, BM forces who are advancing house-by-house continue to suffer casualties and are impeded by booby traps and mines. ISIS has published reports  claiming it has killed large numbers of BM forces but this is likely to be propaganda to promote a perception of its resistance on the ground.

US AFRICOM reported that on 22 November it conducted nine airstrikes against ISIS targets in Sirte. These latest strikes brings the total Operation Odyssey Lightning airstrikes to 420. Former CIA director James Woolsey has said that the president-elect is going to make the destruction of ISIS a priority, including in Libya.

On 26 November, the LNA defeated an ISIS assault against its forces in Abu Sneeb, an area in southern Benghazi. ISIS published photographs of its fighters in these clashes.