Libya: ISIS Kills Civilians at Fake Checkpoint, US Conducts Airstrikes

Libya: ISIS Kills Civilians at Fake Checkpoint, US Conducts Airstrikes

ISIS IN ACTION

On 6 June, local sources claim that ISIS fighters established a fake checkpoint between Zillah and Waddan in the Jufra region and fired upon a vehicle killing two civilians from the Qadhafa tribe. However, in contrast to this version of events, ISIS published a claim stating that its fighters had killed two LNA soldiers during clashes at an LNA checkpoint in the Jufra district.

WESTERN RESPONSE

On 5 June, U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM), in cooperation with the Government of National Accord (GNA), conducted a drone strike near Eshmikh, 35 km south of Bani Walid, killing four alleged ISIS members. Included amongst those killed was Abd al-A’ati Ashtaiwy, who is believed to be a senior figure within ISIS in Sirte. In a statement released about the incident, an AFRICOM spokesperson claimed the operation served to “degrade ISIS-Libya’s freedom of movement and its ability to reconsolidate in the region”.

On 6 June, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) gathered to discuss the results of the 29 May Paris summit on Libya. The UNSC issued a presidential statement expressing that the so-called ‘French initiative’ was a notable step forward in bringing peace to Libya and welcomed the preparations towards elections. The statement noted the timeframe to which the Libyan leaders committed themselves but did not mention the specific dates.

On 7 June, the UN Security Council’s Libya Sanctions Committee added 6 individuals to their sanctions list (involving travel bans and asset freezes) for their involvement in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Libya. Significantly, these include Mohammed Kashlaf (al-Qusab) who effectively controls Zawiyya port, Abdurrahman Milad (al-Bidja), the acting commander of the Zawiyya coastguard, and Ahmed Dabbashi, who used to control Mellitah port. While these individuals have been sanctioned for their involvement in smuggling people, they are also closely linked to fuel smuggling networks. The NOC praised the move and called on the UNSC to include more fuel and oil smugglers on its list.

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

This article was republished with explicit permission from the author.