Libya Situation Update: 28 February — 02 March

  1. 29 FEB: A Libya Dawn aircraft sunk a IS freighter near Sirte. Anonymous GNC sources claimed that the vessel was carrying ammunition. (Libya Observer)
  2. 29 FEB: IS arrested two young men in Hawara, east of Sirte, due to their alleged involvement with local military forces (the Hawara Battalion) before IS seized control over the town. (Libya 24 TV)(al-Wasat)
  3. 01 MAR: Unconfirmed reports indicate IS deployed troops to the Abu Hadi area, south of Sirte. Additionally, following unknown airstrikes on Sirte, IS allegedly blockaded the coastal road and declared a state of emergency in the city.(LNA Statement) (al-Wasat)(Libya’s Channel)(Libya 24 TV)
  4. 01 MAR: The Sabha Martyrs’ Brigade and local Jufra fighters seized control of the Khashum al-Kheil Checkpoint from IS fighters, 60km south of Sirte. Local sources in Jufra have claimed that the checkpoint has been deserted for over a year. (Libya’s Channel)(Libya 24 TV)(Afrigate)(Fezzan Media Group)(Fezzan Libya Media Group)
  5. 01–02 MAR: Fighting between the LNA and IS/SCBR forces continued in many areas of Benghazi as ongoing clashes appear stalled in Sabri and the LNA siege of the cement factory south of Hawari continues. The LNA claims to have destroyed an IS SVBIED attempting to breach that siege. In southwest Benghazi, a tentative calm prevailed with little to no fighting near Bufakhra and the Mrissa Port. The SCBR released a picture claiming that they maintain control of the port, but that claim is judged to be false. On 01 March, LNA forces released a video of clashes near the Hawari cement factory, claiming LNA forces are close to retaking the IS/SCBR strongpoint. Other sources claimed LNA forces attempted to storm the facility. On 29 February, Ansar al-Sharia published a statement and a number of picture sets showing an alleged victory for the group in west Benghazi. They claimed to have used tanks and several armored vehicles in a minor offensive that killed 7 LNA troops and resulted in the capture of a large quantity of ammunition and at least one fighting position. (LNA Twitter)(Twitter)(Libya Observer)(al-Wasat)(LNA Video)(Libya 24 TV)(Libya 24 Tv)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)(al-Raya Media Foundation)

6. 02 MAR: IS militants fled positions near Sabratha leaving a huge quantity of detonators and other materials used for building SVESTs and other explosive devices. One of the men captured in Sabratha claimed that IS intended to assault Ben Gardane, a Tunisian border town. On 28 February, The General Staff of the GNC formed a security room to defend the city of Sabratha and undertake anti-IS operations. (al-Wasat)(Twitter)(Twitter)

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