Category Archives: Islamic State in Libya

Libya: Chronology of security incidents and violent clashes in Libya: 08 – 14 August period

By Rida Lyammouri

August 16th, 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 (DBB), 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.

Key points and comments from MENASTREAM who has been following Libyan conflict very closely and recent evolvement of different groups in Libya:

  • Ajdabiya Revolutionaries Shura Council (ARSC) don’t longer exist and was dissolved several months ago resulting in the creation of ‘Operations Room for the Liberation of the City Ajdabiya and Support for Benghazi Rebels.’ GATMJB as abbreviation is now accepted according to same observer.
  • Ansar al-Sharia do exist but very much folded into BRSC along with Rafallah Sahati Brigade, February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade and few others that seems to have become totally folded into BRSC.
  • GATMJB and DBB work together but are work very closely together pretty much like one with the GATMJB leader al-Saadi al-Nawfali being a senior commander in DB as well along with Zied Bel’am commander of Katibat Omar al-Mukhtar, Mustapha Sharkassi former LAF spokesman i.e. former LNA (Haftar), Frag Shaku, the commander of February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade and also one of the main field commanders in BRSC prior the formation of DBB.
  • Increased use of suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) by BRSC could be explained by the fact they have been pushed back significantly and pretty much holed up in the corner of the ‘Western region’ Gawarsha, Ganfouda and Garyounis/south Benghazi. In this area there is an obvious possible coordination/cooperation with IS which influences this behavior. But also Ansar al-Sharia’s seemingly leading role and the strongly articulated popular support.

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: 8 – 14 August 2016

Benghazi

09 August 2016: Counterterrorism office in Benghazi discovered and dismantled a sleeping cell of unknown “terrorist organization,” and arrested two suspects. Weapons, cash, and explosives also seized.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 3.48.48 PM.png

Bushra news agency infographic. Source: @MENASTREAM

11 August 2016: According to Bushra News Agency infographic (above), two airstrikes and four drones attacks were conducted in Benghazi. Reportedly 4 killed and 5 injured.

12 August 2016: According to Saraya media, a news outlet affiliated with Benghazi Shura Council, French drone strike targeted Ganfouda district in Benghazi.

13 August 2016: Two suspects arrested in Benghazi allegedly members of what referred to as terrorist organizations. The arrest took place east Benghazi at Boudzira area. Reportedly suspects are members of Dare’ Libya 1 and Rafallah al-Sahati.

13 August 2016: Islamic State targeted National Libyan Army (LNA) in Gawarsha area in Benghazi.

14 August 2016: A landmine explosion in Al-Gawarsha district killed 2 of Khalifa Haftar’s militiamen and injured 2. The IED targeted volunteering militiamen, who fight with Haftar’s forces, as they were advancing nearby Al-Gawarsha checkpoint.

Sirte

08 – 10 August 2016: After days of fighting, Bonyan Al-Marsous, Libyan militia backed by U.S airstrikes claimed capturing several strategic locations from IS in Libya. Captured locations included Ouagadougou conference center, and the university of Sirte, both have been considered symbolic to IS. Misrata hospital reported to have received 16 dead and 93 wounded soldiers from Bonyan Al-Marsous forces as a result of Sirte clashes.

09 August 2016: Bonyan Al-Marsous team struck an IED at Sirte where the Libyan militia have been clashing with IS.

10 August 2016: Libyan Dawn Air Force (LDAF) plane reported crashed at Sirte due to technical difficulties while IS media arm Amaq claimed its fighters downed the warplane. 2 pilots killed.

13 August 2016: An Islamic State SVBIED targeted Bonyan Al-Marsous gathering near captured Ouagadougou conference center. 7 fighters allegedly killed.

14 August 2016: Bonyan Al-Marsous reported ongoing clashes at both residential districts near the waterfront.

Jufra

09 August 2016: SDB and LNA reportedly clashed near the Naga oil field at Jufra. LNA sources also released photos of alleged IS fighters killed claiming to the group (IS) is supposedly behind the attack.

Darnah

10 August 2016: Libyan Air Force (LAF) reportedly conducted airstrikes on ammunition depot belonging to DMSC.

Libya: Chronology of security incidents and violent clashes in Libya of 01 – 07 August period

 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

Benghazi:

BRSC Infographic_7AUG2016.jpg

Infographic released by an Islamist militant group with alleged damages it caused to Libyan Army led by General Haftar. Source: @MENASTREAM

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.

Sirte:

01 – 07 August 2016: U.S Africom reported to have carried out 20 airstrikes on IS in Libya.

01 August 2016: Bonyan al-Marsous reportedly seized control of Dollar district from IS at Sirte. 5 killed and 17 injured among Bonyan al-Marsous forces.

01 August 2016: Libyan Down AirForce (LDAF) carried airstrike on and destroyed an IS tank at Sirte.

Darnah 

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.