Other — 5 April 2016

Apr 5, 2016 | Other Jihadi Actors

Fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and coalition of jihadist militias continued in southwest Benghazi. The LNA escalated its aerial blockade of the city and its nearby waters, due to a rise in supply vessels to jihadist militias. The LNA reported the destruction of six fishing boats off Benghazi’s southern coast on 1 April. The LNA has largely defeated the Revolutionary Shura Councils in Benghazi and Ajdabiya, while forming a tacit alliance with the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC). However, this alliance is in danger of collapse. After both the LNA and DMSC turned against each other in Al Fatieh, south of Derna, their joint campaign against ISIS was delayed. Meanwhile, fighting occurred in ‘Al Hila’ area east of the city, leading to the death of three LNA members.

The founding of a new militia was announced in Ajdabiya on 2 April, following the dissolution of the Ajdabiya Revolutionary Shura Council (ARSC) the day before. The ARSC had largely disappeared from the scene after most of its members defected to ISIS. Abu Abdullah Al Saadi al Nawfali, a reported ISIS sympathiser, announced the new militia, Ajdabiya Liberation and Benghazi Revolutionary Support Operation Room. He is suspected of coordinating with ISIS in his hometown of Nawfaliyah, which is now an outpost for ISIS incursions into the oil basins. In his speech, Nawfali said that the new operation room will liberate the city from ex-Qadhafi regime remnants, and people of ‘corrupt’ ideology, referring to ‘Salafists’ who are supportive of the LNA. He added that the withdrawal of ARSC from Ajdabiya was not out of defeat, but a tactic to consolidate ranks and expose defectors and traitors.