Intro and Analysis
As a companion to my post on the emergence of the Islamic State's 'Wilayat Barqa' ('Cyrenaica Province') in eastern Libya (mostly in the city of Derna, to be specific), here is a translation of a new Wilayat Barqa statement on military operations against its rivals in the Tobruq-based government's army and Heftar's forces (government-aligned).
As far as the dating goes, these claimed operations seem highly questionable (typo error? Cf. spelling errors in the original Arabic elsewhere- e.g. markaz shurt al-makhili when markaz shurtat al-makhili is meant). It seems odd that they are all reported on 7 September and one will struggle to find any corroboration for them on that day, but identical incidents to those claimed here can be found elsewhere. In short, ignore the translated statement's dating of the incidents. The events in question rather took place in late October and November, not, as erroneously implied by the statement, in September well before the 'Wilayat Barqa' had been announced by Islamic State-aligned jihadis.
For example, on 9 November, two car bomb explosions indeed took place in the vicinity of the security directorate of the town of Shahat in Cyrenaica. The explosions reportedly wounded some 13 people. In a similar vein, on 28 October, a car bomb exploded in front of the security directorate in Tobruq, with no verified fatalities but some material damage. Further, on 30 October, a suicide bombing took place at the Abd al-Ati gates in Ajadabiya (to the south of Benghazi). Unsurprisingly, the reported casualties and damages inflicted by these attacks are vastly overstated in the translated statement below. Indeed, the car bomb targeting Qarnada military camp was actually reported to have been dismantled.
All that said, the data are important in pointing to a meaningful military presence of formally-aligned Islamic State jihadis in the Cyrenaica region of Libya.
Echoing Ansar al-Shari'a's rhetoric, the statement focuses its ire on General Heftar's anti-Islamist militias campaign in Benghazi and the government in Tobruq exercising little control over the territory it is supposed to govern. Also of note is the 'brotherology' of this statement in referring to 'mujahideen brothers' in Benghazi even as it is clear that not all jihadis in Cyrenaica have as of yet pledged formal allegiance to the Islamic State. Arguably though, the overall trend seems somewhat similar to the main stance that existed in Gaza-Sinai prior to the pledge of allegiance by Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis: sympathy without a formal pledge of allegiance.
"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
In answer to the call of God- Almighty and Exalted is He: "And fight them until there is no more fitna, and religion is wholly of God."
This is the account of operations carried out by the lions of the Caliphate in Derna against the dens of the state of apostasy and evil deeds as well as the soldiers of the idolatrous tyrant Heftar.
1. The whole world has seen the crimes of the idolatrous tyrant Heftar from the bombing of the children and elderly of the Muslims in Derna and Benghazi. In revenge for them, one of the lions of the state of the Caliphate undertook a suicide car bombing on the airport of vileness and evil deeds- al-Abraq airport- targeting a gathering of the apostates at its southern gates, leading to the killing of nine of them- a number of officers- and the wounding of dozens- thanks to God. And that took place on 12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
2. In another specialist operation by the lions of the Caliphate, one of its squadrons undertook to detonate a car-bomb parked at the al-Bayda directorate of security, leading to the killing and wounding of dozens of them [the apostates etc.]. And that took place on 12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
3. In a courageous raid carried out by the lions of the Islamic State, one of its squadrons undertook an assault on a den of the apostates (al-Makhili police center [Benghazi]) at the fourth hour before dawn with medium and light weapons- leading to the killing of 15 apostates from those who were in the center, and the lions returned safely with not one of them wounded, thanks to God...And that took place on 12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
4. One of the knights of martyrdom undertook a car bombing targeting the gates of Abd al-Ati at which there was a group of filthy apostates on the Ajdabiya-Benghazi road, leading to the killing and wounding of a great number of them...12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
5. In response to the attack of aircraft and in deterrence to them for the massacres they committed against the Muslims of Benghazi, one of the Caliphate's squadrons infiltrated into the town of Tobruq and parked a car bomb at one of the biggest fortifications of the idolatrous tyrants (the Tobruq Security Directorate), blowing it up to target them, leading to the killing and wounding of dozens and the destruction of parts of the building with the infliction of great losses on them...12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
6. In revenge for the prisoners of the Muslims, commandos of the Islamic State undertook the targeting of a great grouping of apostates in Qarnada camp with a parked car bomb, leading to the killing and wounding of dozens of them...12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
7. The sons of the Islamic State in Derna resolved to take revenge on all who participated with, supported or aided Heftar in his war on our mujahideen brothers in Benghazi; so with thanks to God, there was the targeting of the Shahat security directorate with two parked car bombs. So the first one was blown up, and at the gathering of groups of the apostates, there was detonated the second against them, leading to the killing and wounding of a great number of them, together with the destruction of great parts of the building...12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
8. In support of our mujahideen brothers in Benghazi, a great convoy of the lions of the Caliphate came out to cut off the path and resist a great convoy coming out from Tobruq with 15 tanks headed towards Benghazi. On the arrival of the Dawla's vanguards to cut off the reinforcements, the apostates heard of the arrival of the Islamic State's convoy, so they sent in their aircraft and returned to Tobruq. And the Islamic State's convoy returned safely, having accomplished its mission...12 Dhu al-Qa'da 1435 AH.
Thanks to God the Lord of the Worlds.
Media Office of Wilayat Barqa