The Islamic State’s fighters have withdrawn from their positions on the outskirts of Derna, Libya. The so-called “caliphate” faced stiff opposition from pro-al Qaeda jihadist groups in the city.
An infographic in the Islamic State’s Al Naba newsletter highlights the “caliphate’s” fighting against both its jihadist rivals and the Libyan Army in the eastern city of Derna. The Islamic State was forced out of Derna’s center last year, even as it gained ground elsewhere in Libya.
The Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in Derna claims to have captured a top Islamic State leader in Libya. The MSC has been battling the Islamic State in Derna since June, but appears to have the upper hand in the jihadists’ infighting.
The Islamic State’s supporters in Libya have released dozens of “wanted dead” posters online. The images are part of a campaign targeting the “caliphate’s” jihadist and Islamist opposition in Derna and elsewhere in Libya. If the information in the graphics is accurate, then the Islamic State is offering up valuable intelligence on its pro-al Qaeda adversaries in North Africa.
AQIM has issued a pair of statements backing the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in Derna against its rivals in the Islamic State. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men picked a fight with the MSC last month, but have sustained significant losses since then.
According to multiple reports, the Islamic State’s province in Derna, Libya has lost ground to its jihadist rivals after fighting broke out last week.
Earlier this week, one of the Islamic State’s “provinces” in Libya assassinated a veteran jihadist in Derna. The act sparked intense fighting between Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s followers and al Qaeda-allied jihadists in the city.