Weekly Eye on ISIS in Libya Update – November 29, 2016

ISIS in Action

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.

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.

A weekly update of ISIS’s actions, the Western response, and developments pertaining to Libya’s other militias is available by subscribing here.  To read about Western countries’ responses to ISIS in Libya this week, click here. To read the Eye on ISIS in Libya Team’s blog post about the actions of other jihadi actors, click here. And to read their 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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