Jawhar Farhat

3. 166th Battalion

  • Commander: Colonel Ayoub Al-Ferjani
  • Ministry Affiliation: Libyan Arab Armed Forces
  • Headquarters:  Al-Berka,Benghazi, Libya

3.1 Activities

-Units from the 166th Infantry Brigade participated in searching for missing persons on the beaches and areas near Derna after Storm Daniel on September 5, 2023.

This comes in addition to their work in securing the Derna Gate and organizing the entry of relief convoys and rescue teams to contribute to alleviating the repercussions of the Mediterranean Storm “Daniel” crisis.

– On 14 January, Conclusion of the tactical course on the combat use of the M/D missile (Kornet) in the 166th Infantry Brigade.

-On 21 November , the second batch – Special Tasks Course 1.7 – graduated from the 166th Infantry Brigade, after completing field training in storming, securing, and rescuing hostages.

The graduation ceremony witnessed the presence of the Chief of Staff of the security units and several officers of the 166th Infantry Brigade.

-On 10 March, within the framework of continuous patrols, the reconnaissance company of the 166th Infantry Battalion launched its patrols from the city of Ajdabiya to Jalo and Al-Sarir, all the way to Al-Kafra. After that, the Subul_Al-Salam Battalion joined with it and carried out joint patrols on the borders linking neighboring countries.

4. 302 Battalion

  • Commander: Issa Guesbsi
  • Ministry Affiliation: Chief of Staff of the Land Forces
  • Headquarter: X2R5+26, Benghazi, Libya

4.1 Activities

– On 8 November, Colonel Issa Dhawoud Al-Qabsi, Commander of the 302nd Thunderbolt Battalion, led a military delegation comprising  officers, non-commissioned officers and field commanders on a strategic visit to the Marada region.

– On January 14, the 302nd Infantry Battalion gathered with key leaders, including the Chief of Staff of the Land Forces. High-ranking officials present included Lieutenant General Amraja’ Al-Amami, Major General Saddam Khalifa Haftar, and Brigadier General Hassan Al-Zadma. Other leaders included Brigadier General Omar Amraji, Brigadier General Ghazi Al-Shatiti, Brigadier General Ali Ableblo, and Brigadier General Amhamed Al-Jali. Colonel Anas Al-Zayani and several officers from the Armed Forces also attended.

The meeting was regarding the restructuring of the 302nd Battalion after it joined the Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces and its rearrangement and organization.

5. Benghazi Security Battalion

It is stationed at the headquarters of the “formerly Al-Fadil Bou Omar” battalion in Benghazi, under the command of Jaafar Omar Abd Rabbo. The “Al-Fadil Bou Omar” battalion was founded by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

  • Commander: Colonel Jaafar Omar
  • Ministry Affiliation: Libyan Arab Armed Forces
  • Headquarter: 4534+G53, Benghazi, Libya

5.1 Activities

– The third batch graduated from a special tasks course for members of the Benghazi Security Battalion.

-On 28 January, Within the framework of raising the level of security and combat power among members of the Special Task Force of the Benghazi Security Battalion.

The force underwent training  in a sniper course inside the battalion’s training center to fully prepare  for any military orders.

-On 13 January, the Benghazi Security Battalion, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers participated in donating blood for the Red Crescent Blood Donation Unit.

6. 155th Brigade

The 155th Infantry Brigade is stationed in the southern region. Sites belonging to the 155th Infantry Battalion in the Jabal Al-Akhdar area, east of Benghazi.

Commander: Mahdi Nour Eddine Cherif

Ministry Affiliation: Libyan Arab Armed Forces

Headquarter: Fourth Ring Rd Banghazi, Libya

6.1 Activities

On July 26, the 155th Infantry, stationed in the city of Al Bayda, caught a drug smuggler in possession of 15 large bags containing hallucinogenic Captagon pills during a large patrol on tankers.

-Based on the decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces No. 170 of 2023 AD,
The name of the 155th Infantry Battalion was changed to (155th Infantry Brigade).

– On 13 March 2023, following instructions from the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, the Al-Jawf commercial convoys, affiliated with Al-Watan Company, were set in motion. These convoys, safeguarded by the 155th Infantry Battalion and the Subul Al-Salam Battalion, commenced their journey from the arrival point at the Benghazi sea port to the Al-Jawf Free Zone in the city of Kufra. From there, they embarked on a mission to establish a commercial crossing line to Africa. Notably, this marks the first convoy since operations ceased in 2011.

7. 73rd Battalion

Commander: Ali Al-Qatani

Ministry Affiliation: Libyan Arab Armed Forces

Headquarter: 3338+4JM, Benghazi, Libya

7.1 Activities

– On 12 February, the 73rd Infantry Brigade and the Security Directorate of the Joint Security Room in Murzuq conducted a night march into the city of Murzuq for the Libyan Arab Armed Forces.

-On November 13, Major General Ali Saleh Al-Qatani, Commander of the 73rd Infantry Brigade, presided over a graduation ceremony for the Kornet and 120mm-81mm mortar trainees. However, the trainees passed both the theoretical test and the practical exam with a grade of 92% and received certificates of success upon completing the course.

-On 20 July, The combat companies/608th Infantry Battalion of the 73rd Infantry Brigade concluded an intensive refresher course at the brigade’s training center in the Saluk area . Additionally, the course included dealing with light and medium weapons and mortar artillery of various sizes, simulating the defense situation and how to maintain medium weapons while the vehicle is moving and while stationed, in order to reach the highest level.

8. Conclusion

The landscape of armed groups in Benghazi reveals a mosaic of power dynamics, historical affiliations, and strategic maneuvers within Libya’s fractured political and military landscape. Haftar’s forces, epitomized by entities like the Tariq Bin Ziyad Brigade, wield significant control over eastern Libya, exerting authority through a mixture of tribal allegiances and military prowess. Furthermore, this dominance is not without controversy; reports of egregious human rights violations tarnish their reputation and underscore the volatility of the region.

Ultimately, the armed groups of Benghazi represent microcosms of Libya’s larger struggle for stability and sovereignty. While some embody the dark underbelly of conflict with their alleged atrocities, others symbolize aspirations for order and progress within a fractured nation. Consequently, the interplay of these forces underscores the intricate challenges facing Libya as it navigates a path towards peace and reconciliation.

Furthermore, militant factions in Benghazi play a pivotal role in shaping the region’s dynamics, with entities like the Tariq Bin Ziyad Brigade exerting significant influence over eastern Libya. Despite their power, reports of human rights abuses tarnish their reputation and highlight the region’s volatility. Similarly, the 106th Brigade’s involvement in political incidents raises questions about their adherence to the rule of law. Amidst these complexities, institutions like the Al Karama Training Center strive to professionalize Libyan armed forces, offering a glimpse of hope amidst turmoil. In summary, the armed groups of Benghazi represent microcosms of Libya’s struggle for stability and sovereignty, underscoring the challenges ahead.

Jawhar Farhat is an ALL source analyst with a Level 6 diploma (CSMP) in Security Management and a master’s degree in Military Sciences from the Military Academy of Tunisia.


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