Eye On Jihadis in Libya Weekly Update: July 3

On 28 June, airstrikes targeting Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB) and IS locations were reported near Bani Walid. At the time of writing it is unclear if it was either of the two groups or an amalgamation of forces fleeing the Oil Crescent after participating in Ibrahim Jadhran’s assault on the oil facilities. However, this is not the first time that IS and BDB units have been either observed together or confused for one or the other. A fortnight earlier on 14 June, unconfirmed reports suggested that IS and BDB fighters were spotted near the village of Harawa, 50 km east of Sirte, with Libyan National Army al-Saiqa Special forces having been mobilized to the location in response to the report.
On 30 June, Sirte security forces declared a state of alert following reports of IS movement in the southern part of the city. The security forces have established checkpoints and are undertaking both mobile and stationed patrols in the city as a response.

Other Jihadi Actors

On 28 June, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced the ‘liberation’ of the city of Darnah. Earlier that day the LNA had stated that they had complete control of the city, after having supposedly taken control of 75 percent of Darnah three weeks prior, and that Brigadier General Salem al-Rifadi was appointed the head of the Joint Security Operations Room for the city.
Prior to Haftar’s announcement on 27 June, the Darnah Protection Force (DPF) claimed to have been heavily barraged for more than 24 hours by UAE unmanned drone strikes on their positions in the Shiha neighborhood. Conflicting reports suggest that former Darnah Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC) Chairman Atiya al-Sharrir was killed during these strikes.
Darnah has been under the control of the DMSC since 2014. In May 2018 the DMSC changed its name to the Darnah Protection Force (DPF), in what has been suggested as an effort to distance itself from the DMSC’s alleged links to al-Qaeda.

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, and to read about 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.