Weekly Security Report by SNE Special Projects 16 February 2016

Libya’s presidential council has named a revised line-up for a unity government under a United Nations backed plan aimed at ending the conflict in the North African state.

One of the council’s members, Fathi al-Majbari, said in a televised statement on Sunday that a list of 13 ministers and five ministers of state had been sent to Libya’s eastern parliament for approval. “We call on Libyans suffering from the fighting ... and the members of parliament to support the Government of National Accord, which will provide the framework to fight terrorism," Majbari said.

But in a sign of continuing divisions over how to bring together Libya's warring factions, two of the council's nine members refused for a second time to put their signatures to the proposed government, according to a document posted on the Presidential Council's Facebook page.

With the West looking at military options and Sunday’s deadline for a new unity government, in preparation for the government decision Libya looks certain to be the next flashpoint in the “war on terror”. As RAF jets are already over desert skies and President Obama is telling the Pentagon to look at military options, it seems that the West is ready to take on the 6,000 Islamic State fighters.

The security situation within the capital has remained quiet this reporting week, with no reports of any significant incidents taking place.

The Rada Special Deterrence Force (SDF) has deported a further 6 Tunisian nationals arrested for alleged connections with IS/Daesh or for illegal entry.

The central region’s Operational Center of the General Staff in the Salvation Government ordered the military checkpoints to close the coastal road that connects Abu Grein area with Sirte and to prevent citizens from using the road starting February 10. The road closing comes due to the unstable security situation on the road and the presence of IS militants around the area.

3 of Misrata's 200 registered Brigades paraded on Tuesday in Al-Sadadah and Abu Grein regions, West of IS stronghold of Sirte, to send a message to the terrorist group saying "we are ready for the war."

On hearing the news of the parade, IS militant declared a state of emergency in the city in anticipation of any attack.

Ansar Al-Sharia is claiming that it shot down a Libyan Air Force MiG-23 today during an airstrike on Derna. The Air Force has admitted the loss of the warplane but said that it crashed because of a mechanical failure. This was the second time in 48 hours that Derna has been hit by airstrikes. Four people, including a ten year old boy and his mother, died in three raids which also struck and damaged a mosque in the Bab Tobruk area of the town. The Libya Air Force immediately denied it had been responsible.

This week has seen a repeat of reports that various foreign fighters of varying strengths have been moving by ground, air and sea. There have been reports of 180 French soldiers are present at Benina airbase and Bu Utni which has been condemned by the head of “Dignity Operation” This follows on from recent reports suggesting the presence of UK and US troops as part of training missions in Libyan military camps.

Fishermen from Zarzis of Tunisia reported the sighting of 3 US battleships heading to Libyan territorial waters.

In the South it was reported that Tabu tribal forces withdrew from all their positions in Awbari and handed them over to the neutral forces.

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