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Last Weekend in Libya: Opposition Attempts Coup; US Conducts 36 Airstrikes

On 14 October, BM forces stormed the ‘Campo’ area between the First and Third Residential Districts.  ISIS have been using this area to flank BM fighters as they attempt to surround ISIS’ enclave in the Third Residential District. 14 BM fighters died and 35 were injured before BM forces managed to take control of the Campo neighbourhood from ISIS fighters. On 16 October, BM forces advanced further inside al-Gizah al-Bahriya from the west. The US said it had conducted 36 airstrikes on enemy fighting positions over the weekend, bringing its total airstrikes so far in support of BM forces up to 288 in total. ISIS claimed a suicide vehicle attack on BM forces on 16 October.

On 14 October, there were reports of ISIS vehicles being present in the areas between al-Baghlah & Wadi Allod and also Wadi Jarif & Bu’ayrat al-Hasun, indicating that some ISIS forces have managed to escape safely out of the city and are still active south of Sirte. In Sebha, a key city in southern situated Libya 6ookm south of Sirte, a Saudi national and a Libyan were taken captive after they were accused of being  part of a hidden ISIS cell in the city.

In response to the coup attempt in Tripoli by Khalifa al-Ghwell, on 15 October, UN envoy to Libya Martin Kobler said: “I condemn yesterday’s attempt to seize the headquarters of the High Council of State. Such actions, aimed at creating parallel institutions and obstructing the implementation of the LPA, will generate further disorder and insecurity and must end for the sake of the Libyan People…. The LPA remains the only framework for a peaceful solution in Libya and I urge all political stakeholders to unify behind it.”

The US State Department said: “We are in true support for the UN-brokered Government of National Accord, which is the legitimate choice of the Libyans and Libyan political parties.” The statement called for all state buildings to be returned to the control of the GNA in Tripoli and called on all of the political conflicting parties to work together through the Libyan Political Agreement brokered by the UN. The European Union also condemned the coup attempt.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University