Other — 16 May 2016

May 16, 2016 | Other Jihadi Actors

Despite the expulsion of ISIS from Derna, a return to normalcy is likely to take longer than expected, due to the threat of a new conflict between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC). The LNA announced that operation “Burkan” will commence if ongoing negotiations fail to disarm the DMSC and Ansar Al Sharia in the city.   On 14 May, the DMSC responded by declaring a zero tolerance policy toward all Khalifa Haftar supporters. This development suggests the unfortunate scenario of a new, greater potential for conflict brewing in Derna between the LNA and the DMSC. The DMSC has effectively declared war on Haftar, all LNA units and all his military and civilian supporters in the city and nearby towns. Local sources indicate that the majority of the city prefers a negotiated disarmament with the LNA, however, a full scale operation conducted by the LNA and militias from nearby towns would most certainly lead to bloody conflict.

In Benghazi, pockets of ISIS militants, Ansar Al Sharia fighters and the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council remain in the areas of Sabri and Soug Al Hout.  Meanwhile, fighting is also ongoing in the southern area of city where militants are under siege.