Country Risk

Foreign fighter influx raises likelihood of Islamic State controlling smuggling routes and fighting in Libya's Murzuq basin

09 September 2015


The Islamic State released on 8 September pictures purportedly showing the beheaded body of a Libyan National Army (LNA) soldier captured the previous day during the group's offensive on al-Nawaqya, 20 kilometres (km) southwest of Benghazi.

The offensive was repelled by the LNA and resulted in eight LNA soldiers killed and 15 injured. Despite that, Islamic State appears to have regained the initiative in Libya after experiencing a military setback in Derna and a failed popular uprising against its control of Sirte.

Since early September, fighting between the Islamic State and the LNA has intensified in Benghazi, where jihadist militants are now the main fighting force having almost completely supplanted the local Islamist militias.

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