ISIS in Action and Other Jihadi Actors

Ahmidah Al-Safrani, Abd Al-Hadi Zarqun, and Hammam Hamani were identified by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Public Affairs (OFAC) on 13 April, as Libyan-based financial facilitators of the Islamic State (IS). OFAC has implemented sanctions on these individuals freezing their assets and prohibiting business with US nationals.

Sabri and Souq al-Hout, both adjacent to the port in the centre of Benghazi are the only remaining areas controlled by the loose jihadist coalition of Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) and IS fighters. The Libyan National Army (LNA) maintains an aerial and naval blockade in the area and the current dip in clashes will likely be short lived as these areas have been an epicenter of fighting for over two years.

On 15 April, reinforcements from the southern Libya Shield forces, led by Islamist commander Ahmed Abdul Jalil Al-Hasnawi, arrived at Temenhint airbase to back up the Government of National Accord (GNA)-affiliated forces, including the Misratan Third Force and the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), in their battle against the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On 16 April, militias affiliated with Khalifa Al-Ghwell, announced that they are joining the BDB and the Misratan Third Force, to join in the fight against the LNA in the South. Despite the announcement, there is no evidence of their deployment yet.

On 17 April, the LNA led an airstrike on the BDB base south of Sirte. Former Bunyan al-Marsus forces have mobilized to Sirte, where they are functionally aligned with the BDB, causing concern about the possibility of a BDB counter attack against the LNA. Ongoing conflict between the LNA and the GNA’s Misratan-led Third Force in Southern Libya could spill back over onto the initial battle ground of the Oil Crescent.

In Derna on 14 April, the LNA targeted Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) positions south of the city with a new volley of airstrikes; the LNA aerial and naval blockade in Derna continues.

To read about the international community’s responses to jihadis in Libya this week, click here.  To read the Eye on ISIS team’s explanation of the developments within the anti-ISIS Coalition of Libyan militias, click here. To read all four sections of this week’s Eye on ISIS in Libya report, click here. To subscribe to receive this report weekly into your inbox, sign up on the subscribe page.

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On 13 April 2017 at approximately 7:30 pm local time in Nangarhar’s Achin district, in the area of Mamund valley, American forces dropped – according to their statement – the largest non-nuclear bomb known as the ‘mother of all bombs’. This barbarity was followed with much fanfare with the Americans proudly boasting about it in the media thus showcasing the increasing barbarity of the foreign occupation.
The use and experimentation of such destructive weapons by foreign occupiers on our war-weary people and in every corner of our war-ravaged country is inexcusable. The Islamic Emirate condemns such barbarity in the strongest of terms and considers its perpetrators as war criminals. Such over-proportionate use of destruction poses long-term detriments for the environment and the development of our nation.
The repression of Daesh plots inside Afghanistan is the obligation of Afghans and not of foreigners. If the Americans fear for their security they should foil such plots at their own borders. The use of Daesh as a ploy to kill Afghans, bombard our lands, experiment novel weapons, and extend the illegitimate occupation is unacceptable. On the contrary, it is a historical wrong and a blatant aggression.
Through such actions the Americans hope to portray itself as a force against Daesh while at the same time giving this group visibility and legitimacy and therefore practically strengthening it. In recent months the Islamic Emirate carried out three separate operations against Daesh in Nangarhar yet every time the Mujahideen came close to completely eradicating this group, American aircraft would start bombarding the Mujahideen and forcing them to retreat.
The fact that the Americans claim that their presence in Afghanistan is limited only to a train and assist role while dropping 10 kiloton bombs on our lands only strengthens the voices of independence and Jihad in our land. Such barbarity illustrates that all freedom-loving Afghans ought to adopt a clear stance against the ongoing oppression of our country and no longer be fooled by American extenuations.
We believe that the use of heavy weaponry and destructive bombs in our country is not the answer to the current dilemma. Rather such irresponsible actions only light the flames of vengeance and show the ugly face of foreign occupation.
Zabihullah Mujahid
Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
17/07/1438 Lunar Hijri
26/01/1396 Solar Hijri

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Source: Telegram