On November 15, Zarrouk Suwayta, a Libyan security official in Sirte city in northern Libya, announced that ISIS fighters reappeared south of the city. According to Suwayta, ISIS members established a checkpoint in Buhadi area 20km south of Sirte. Suwayta also revealed that dozens of ISIS fighters are now stationed in the valley 80km south of the Buhadi area.
The Libyan Government of National Accord (LGNA), which controls Sirte, announced on November 14 that 8 ISIS fighters were arrested by its armed forces after minor clashes in the Jaref area south of the city. The arrest is yet another evidence that ISIS is now growing again in Libya.
Site city was captured by the LGNA back on December 6, 2016, after a six-month battle. However, it appears that the LGNA, which is heavily influenced by Islamists, is unable to counter the ISIS influence in its areas for real.
During the last week, clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar and ISIS cells were also reported in Benghazi city in northern Libya. According to Libyan sources, few ISIS fighters managed to capture the al-Baladi hotel and few streets around it in Benghazi earlier this week. However, the LNA was able to recapture most of the lost positions and besieged the ISIS members inside the hotel as for now. The sources reported that only one LNA soldier was killed in the clashes.
Meanwhile in northeastern Libya, Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna city announced that it repelled another attack of the LNA on the Dahr al-Ahmar area around Derna. The LNA attack was aimed at tightening the siege on Derna city, according to Libyan sources.
Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna is considered one of the most radical Islamist forces in Libya, and it is openly affiliated with the LGNA. Shura Council of Mujahideen in Derna even called on the LGNA to assist in breaking the LNA siege on the city after the LNA attack.
Some believe that the LGNA, which dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, allowed al-Qaeda and then ISIS to grow freely inside Libya. Due to this, countries like Egypt and the UAE are supporting the LNA not only to defeat ISIS, but also to counter the influence of the LGNA.