By Rida Lyammouri
August 8th, 2016
There are two types of Islamist militant groups operating in Libya. Local groups: Benghazi Revolutionaries Shurah Council (BRSC), Darnah Revolutionaries Shurah Council (DRSC), Ajdabiya Revolutionaries Shurah Council (ARSC), Ansar al-Sharia Libya (AAS), Defense Brigade of Benghazi (DDB), Ajdabiya Operations Room (GATMJB). Regional groups: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Islamic State (IS).
Attacks and incidents listed below are not comprehensive and do not include all violence taking place in Libya. However these are incidents occurring in strategic areas where Libyan National Army (LNA) and its Western allies [with air support mainly] are carrying operations to chase Islamist militants out of their strongholds. Most of information is gathered through open source reporting and social media, and at times it’s difficult to confirm number of casualties and actors involved in an incident.
Note: This is a trial to see if there is need for weekly reporting about key security related events taking place in Libya.
Chronology of violent incidents in Libya: 1 – 7 August
01 August 2016: Libyan investigators released information about suicide bomber that targeted LNA forces July 29th in Benghazi. Suicide bomber was identified and reportedly traveled to Syria before returning to join IS in Sirte then Benghazi.
01 August 2016: Reportedly, Libyan forces arrested son of former Guantanamo detainee, Soufiane Ibn Qamou, at Wadi al-Sahl, west Tubruk.
02 August 2016: 15 LNA soldiers killed and 31 injured in a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack on LNA gathering south of Benghazi. The attack carried near Pipeline Company at al-Gawarsha area. Majliss Shurah Thuwar Benghazi (Benghazi Revolutionaries Shurah Council) or (BRSC) claimed the attack through media arm Saraya.
02 August 2016: Military engineer injured while dismantling IEDs planted in al-Gawarsha passage, an area previously occupied by IS.
02 August 2016: LNA forces claimed to have re-captured al-Gawarsha passage west Benghazi from IS fighters.
03 August 2016: Report released by the IS in Libya showed its forces targeting LNA forces in western part of Benghazi.
05 August 2016: LNA spokesman claimed to have seized VBIED factory making and chemical called al-Doqm at Ganfouda passage west of Benghazi.
05 August 2016: LNA claimed seizing control of a flour supply warehouse in Benghazi at Ganfouda area.
07 August 2016: Head of investigation team in Benghazi reported the arrest of an IS member. However, prosecutors representative also claimed the suspect was a member of other alleged Islamist militant groups in Benghazi without specifying which groups. Suspect also revealed number of sleeping cells in Benghazi and there is an ongoing search for them.
07 August 2016: BRSC claimed to have downed an LNA surveillance drone near Amarat al-Siniya in Benghazi.
07 August 2016: Reportedly, LNA forces clashed with members of BRSC in Benghazi. BRSC pro-media outlet later released infographic with statistics of losses among General Haftar forces claiming to have destroyed 2 armored vehicles and 1 tank, in addition to killing 19 and injuring 32 LNA soldiers.
01 – 07 August 2016: U.S Africom reported to have carried out 20 airstrikes on IS in Libya.
01 August 2016: Libyan Down AirForce (LDAF) carried airstrike on and destroyed an IS tank at Sirte.
01 August 2016: Omar al-Mokhtar operation room claimed to have destroyed VBIED factory making and arms warehouse in Darnah during an airstrike. The factory was located at Sayida Khadija neighborhood near Korean buildings.
02 – 03 August 2016: LNA carried airstrikes on arms depot located west of Darnah that belongs to the Revolutionaries Shurah Council (DRSC). Reportedly target of the airstrikes was located at Sayida Khadija neighborhood.
04 August 2016: DMSC ambushed LNA forces while traveling on coastal road heading to Darnah. DMSC claimed to have killed and injured at least 15 LNA members without giving specific number.
05 August 2016: LNA carried airstrikes on armed vehicles and military equipment gathering at Wadi al-Shawa’ir in southern Darnah. “Shurah Mujahidi Darnah and its Surroundings” reportedly held the post targeted.
05 August 2016: LNA forces targeted at Dhahr al-Hamr south of Darnah. 7 LNA soldiers killed.
04 August 2016: Reportedly, heavy clashes took place at the western entrance of Darnah between LNA forces and Majlis Shurah al-Mujahideen. Clashes occurred between wadi al-Naqa and Karssat village west of Darnah.
04 August 2016: LNA air force carried airstrike on al-Khashkhash farm west of Darnah.