The week commenced with celebrations to mark the 5th anniversary of Libya’s 2011 revolution that toppled the former regime of Gaddafi, these were held in several cities and towns across the country with hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets cheering and chanting pro-February revolution slogans. Many speeches were delivered during the celebration. Tripoli’s revolutionaries said they are in favour of the amendment by the GNC of all Libyan laws to comply with the Sharia. The week finished with news that U.S. warplanes launched air strikes against a suspected Islamic State training camp in western Libya, killing more than 40 people mainly Tunisians, likely including a militant connected to two deadly attacks last year in neighboring Tunisia. The Pentagon said it had targeted an Islamic State training camp. The facility in the city of Sabratah was linked to Noureddine Chouchane, a Tunisian blamed by his native country for attacks last year on a Tunis museum and the Sousse beach resort, which killed dozens of tourists. Condemnation of the attack soon appeared in reports as it was suspected that two Serbian embassy staff that had been held hostage since November died in the attack. The EU’s foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini told a French newspaper in an interview published Sunday that Europe will only intervene in war-torn Libya against Islamic State jihadists if it receives an official request from a legitimate government. “Defeating Daesh effectively can only happen through a legitimate Libyan government in charge of its own security,” The Italian government last month quietly began allowing armed American drones to fly out of an air base in Italy for military operations against Islamic State in Libya and across North Africa, a breakthrough for Washington after more than a year of negotiations. The security situation within the capital has remained quiet this reporting week, with no reports of any significant incidents taking place. The air strikes on Sirte continued with casualties rising by the day. Libya’s oil facilities are likely to suffer further attacks unless a United Nations-backed unity government is approved the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) stated this week as suspected Islamic State militants had staged their latest attack against Libya’s oil infrastructure last Thursday or Friday, setting fire to one production tank and damaging another at the Fida oil field. Intense clashes reported as military forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government said on Sunday they had pushed back Islamist fighters in several areas of Benghazi, seizing the strategic port of Marisa. The Libyan National Army said it had also taken control of the town of Ajdabiya, about 150 km (90 miles) south of Benghazi, another city where it has been battling Islamist groups. Late reporting suggest that a VBIED attack on General Khalifa Haftar’s convoy heading to Al Marj in Al Mitiniya area, Haftar was injured, 3 guards killed. Conflicting details said that Haftars convoy unintentionally collided with an oil tank, which caused an explosion. Hafter has been key to the armed clashes this week in Benghazi. The South saw some activity with reports of mortar shelling in the area of the Mansheya district.
(Source: SNE Special Projects)