Libya’s counter-terrorism forces have deployed a series of patrols in various regions and valleys, after receiving information on alleged Islamic State (IS) movements and criminal gangs affiliated with the self-styled “caliphate”. This was stated by the spokesman of the anti-terrorism forces that report to the government of Tripoli, Al Hassan Baker, to the television broadcaster “Libya al Ahrar”. Similarly, the director of security of Sebha, the capital of the southwestern region of Fezzan controlled by the “rival” government of Fathi Bashagha, general Muhammad al-Asfar, has instructed the security services to pay particular attention, increasing the level of readiness to react to any actions of the IS. Some black flag militiamen were seen along the road connecting the city of Mizdah (Mount Nafusa) and Wadi Mersit, up to the Shwerf area, and from Shwerf to Sebha.
Meanwhile, the 166th Brigade led by Muhammad al Hassan (military commander of the city-state of Misurata located west of Tripoli) went to the valleys and desert areas between Misurata, Bani Walid, Shwerf and Jufra on the instruction of the chief of staff of the ‘Libyan army loyal to the internationally recognized Tripoli executive, Muhammad al Haddad, to seek out or members of the terrorist organization.
The 166th battalion is one of the most powerful in Misrata and its leader is known to have strong relations with the premier-designated by the parliament of Tobruk, Fathi Bashagha, but at present he maintains a neutral position in the dispute with the outgoing prime minister of Tripoli. Abdulhamid Dabaiba. For its part, the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of National Unity, controlled by Dabaiba, has sent reinforcements to the city of Mizdah in the Nafusa Mountains, to carry out an extensive sweeping operation in the mountains and valleys extending from Mizdah to Shwerf region.