ISIS IN ACTION
Additional details have emerged surround ISIS’s attack on a police station in Uqaylah in Eastern Libya. On 24 July, ISIS fighters arrived in as many as five vehicles and attacked the Uqaylah police station in the early hours of the morning, killing one policeman. The attackers then burned the station, leaving several improvised explosive device’s (IED) within. A series of shops were also raided and goods stolen before the assailants escaped to the south while recording a video as they did so. The ISIS fighters are said to have clashed with the Ajdabiya Operations Room south of the town, where one security force member was killed.
The Libyan National Army’s (LNA) 166 battalions is then said to have pursued the attackers, killing 13 of the militants while losing three of their own in Wadi al-Jafr. One the ISIS members killed is alleged to have been Mahmoud al-Barasi, a former Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC) fighter who has been labeled as the “Emir of Benghazi”. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, and in the group’s latest al-Naba newsletter (no. 141) it includes brief details of the attack.
On 28 July, several vehicles belonging to ISIS fighters were observed south of Uqaylah moving to the 103 line towards the Kufra and Jalu region. Subsequently, security forces in Oil Crescent region were put on high alert.
On 30 July, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, told reporters following a White House meeting with US President Donald Trump that he would be organizing an international conference to look for ways to stabilize Libya. Italy has said that it has wanted to hold an international conference in Rome with its allies this autumn. The conference would address economic and social issues, the protection of civil rights and reforms needed to overcome the constitutional gridlock for elections to occur.
In a push for Italy to be the main intermediary between Libya’s competing groups, it is seeking the support of the US. Conte stated that for Trump, Italy would be a “reference point in Europe and the main interlocutor for the main issues that need to be faced … with particular reference to Libya.”
This article was republished with explicit permission from the author. Featured Photo: The White House