Fighting Escalates After Premature ‘Victory’ Claim in Benghazi

Islamist Groups Continue to Resist LNA

Last week, Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Gen. Khalifa Hifter declared “victory” in his 3+ year invasion of Benghazi, though fighting was still reported in a handful of areas in a single district. Indications are that fighting is continuing to grow.

Benghazi has been under the de facto rulership of a Shura Council run by a few local Islamist factions, which have repelled all attempts by outside forces to claim the city. Even as the LNA claimed much of the city, that council’s fighters aren’t going anywhere.

The LNA has confirmed at least 20 of their soldiers have been killed since Wednesday, with a number of others wounded. The Islamist forces are now reported to be spread across two different districts in the city, instead of confined to just a fraction of one.

The LNA are nominally loyal to the Tobruk Parliament, though in practice they are run directly by Gen. Hifter, who styles himself the nation’s “Field Marshall,” and has announced unsuccessful coups d’etat since the NATO imposed regime change left Libya without a functioning government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.