Anti — 22 March 2016

Mar 22, 2016 | Libyan actors

The anti-ISIS coalition in Derna is showing signs of stress. On 21 March, the day after the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) released a video the interrogation of captured ISIS members, the DMSC executed eight of the detainees. This act has increased tensions between the groups, as well as their supporters, which has been steadily growing during the last two weeks. The assassination of a prominent Derna activist on 15 March, followed by the assassination of a pro-Libyan National Army (LNA) member of the DMSC has also heightened these tensions. Pro-LNA fighters in the DMSC suspect that hard-line jihadists in the DMSC are responsible for the assassination.

In Benghazi, the LNA continues to besiege ISIS and the coalition of jihadists in the southern areas of Guwarsha, Ganfuda and Hawari. On 19 March, the Libyan Air Force (LAF) also announced a successful airstrike on a large cargo vessel allegedly transporting weapons and supplies to jihadists on Benghazi’s south coast. According to the LAF, the ship was carrying 10 tanks, 3 BMPs, 3 Grad Rocket launchers, and unspecified number of 4X4 vehicles. The LAF published a video of the airstrikes taken from helicopter gunship, after rumours began to circulate that the vessel was in fact struck by foreign naval artillery.

An LNA unit intercepted an ISIS convoy in Marada, after it was said to be on its way to attack Beda Oil Field on 21 March. The convoy, which sources say was composed of 30 vehicles, were pursued north towards Benghazi, but managed to evade capture. The large supply trucks being escorted by the convoy were seized by the LNA.
Aircraft originating from Misrata continue to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in and around the city, including those that occurred on 20 March. On 21 March, sources reported that a new military convoy departed Misrata towards Sirte, supported by US/European Special Forces.

In Sabratha, the ISIS core has been greatly eroded. Most of the ISIS fighters have either been killed, escaped across the Tunisian border or remain scattered in nearby towns.