IS in Action

Last week, the Libyan National Army (LNA) declared the Oil Crescent to be a closed military zone after a number of IS convoys were seen inside Harawah town, between Sirte and Sidra. However, on 26 November, al-Ghani oil field, which is in LNA controlled territory but has been closed since 2015 after an IS attack, was ransacked and buildings torched by unknown assailants.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed that US forces conducted two airstrikes against targets inside Libya on 17 and 19 November respectively. According to the statement, AFRICOM worked with the Government of National Accord (GNA) to launch the two ‘precision’ airstrikes which hit IS fighters near Fuqaha, south of Waddan.

According to recently released reports, the LNA captured Anis Bualjieh Awami last month. Awami is an IS fighter who was pictured holding up the head of Abdulnabi al-Shargawi at the Ateeq Mosque in Derna on 3 June 2015. Awami was reportedly seized by an LNA unit last month from near his home in Derna. Awami was reportedly one of the IS guards at the execution but did not carry out the execution himself. After IS was defeated by the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC), Awami was arrested before switching allegiance to the DMSC in 2016, leading to his release.

On 22 November, two bodies were recovered by the Libyan Red Crescent in Sirte, suspected to be IS fighters killed the year before.

Other Jihadi Actors

On 27 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) conducted an airstrike on Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) targets in al-Dahra al-Hamar area south of Derna.

On 23 November, a mutiny inside a Misratan prison among Islamist hardliners led to four prisoners fleeing, with two later killed in a faceoff with prison guards.


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 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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IS in Action

On 15 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) said it had conducted two airstrikes against an IS target in the desert southeast of Sirte. According to an LNA air force commander, the target was a storage facility and hideout for IS fighters 90km south of Harawah. The site was reportedly being used as base from which to launch attacks.

On 17 November, the US conducted a drone strike against IS targets in the desert south of Sirte. It was reportedly successful, but no information has yet been officially released. According to a US defence official quoted by Fox News, the strike killed several IS fighters. It was the US’s first airstrike in Libya in two months.

Other Jihadi Actors

On 18 November, the Libyan National Army (LNA) conducted two airstrikes against Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) targets in al-Dahra al-Hamar area, south of Derna. The LNA has enforced a siege around Derna for nearly three years in an attempt to weaken the DMSC which controls the city.

According to a report researched in early November and published by international organisation REACH on 17 November, formal entry and exit points into and out of Derna remained almost entirely closed, with only limited access to the city via informal crossing points. There are shortages of fuel and staple food supplies, while medical facilities have mostly stopped operating. Issues of lack of liquidity and a lack of municipal services such as electricity, water and rubbish collection have exacerbated the conditions. An official from the parallel eastern government’s Ministry of Health said a shipment of medicines had been sent into the city on 15 November.

On 16 November, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior said that the perpetrators of an attack against Egyptian police forces in the Wahat area in Egypt’s western desert on 20 October, in which 16 policemen and 15 gunmen were killed, were trained in Derna. The statement said that the attackers received training “on the use of heavy weapons and the manufacture of explosives,” in camps in Derna. It said that Egyptian forces have arrested Mohamed Abdullah Mosmary, a Libyan national, who was involved in the Wahat attack.

On 14 November, the Misrata local attorney released a number of high profile fighters who had been detained by Misratan security services for their suspected links to extremist groups, on the grounds of illegal arrest procedures. Amongst these fighters was Brayyek Mazeg al-Masriya, a leading Ansar al-Sharia (AS) and Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) commander from the Oil Crescent region.


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 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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Other Jihadi Actors

Clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) resulted in the death of two young DMSC fighters. Salem Abdul Wahhab al-Gerbadi and Abdullah Idris al-Gabaili were killed in the Dahr al-Hamar area south of Derna, on 20 October.

The Tripoli-based Rada Special Deterrent Force (Rada) arrested two senior members of the DMSC on 23 October, at a hotel in downtown Tripoli. Khalid al-Hassadi and Adel al-Karghali were both supposedly working as health coordinators for the DMSC, and were responsible for the care of fighters who were injured during the conflict against IS and the LNA.

The campaign against Islamist hardliners and suspected IS collaborators in Misrata intensified last week. 13 people were taken into custody, including several notable commanders and members of the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and Ajdabiya Shura Council. The arrests were conducted in accordance with the Libyan General Prosecutor’s issuance of over 800 warrants for arrest in connection with terrorism.

On 19 October, the LNA allegedly arrested a former IS member who was hiding in Derna. Anis Bujeela al-Awami (aka al-Asla) purportedly joined IS in 2014, before defecting to the DMSC with other fighters in 2015, prior to the IS withdrawal from the city that year.


 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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