Update and Assessment: June 29, 2016
By The Editors
June 29, 2016
- The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) continued its Ramadan surge in Yemen. ISIS Wilayat Hadramawt detonated four explosive devices in a coordinated attack on multiple Yemeni military locations in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on June 27. The suicide attacks targeted Yemeni security personnel gathering to break their fasts. A June 9 CTP assessment forecast that ISIS would carry out attacks on these targets before the end of Ramadan, an Islamic holy month. Ramadan runs from June 5 to July 5 in 2016. ISIS may attempt another large-scale explosive attack on a government or military target in Aden or al Mukalla before July 5. [Keep up to date on Yemen with CTP’s Situation Reports.]
- Al Shabaab continued its Ramadan offensive with a complex attack on the Naso Hablod Hotel in Mogadishu. Militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) to breach the compound before detonating a suicide vest and opening fire on guests. The attack killed 16 people, including a Somali government minister, and wounded at least 24 others. Al Shabaab may attempt an attack on a Somali National Army (SNA) or African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base before July 5.
- Libyan factions are using counterterrorism operations as cover to compete for control of terrain in eastern Libya. The Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which are allied with two competing political bodies, are converging on Ajdabiya city with the stated intent of fighting an Islamist militia coalition there, but are preparing to fight each other. The PFG’s engagement with the LNA may pull forces away from territory east of Sirte, providing an opportunity for ISIS militants currently besieged in the city. [See GNA-Allied Forces Seize Momentum against ISIS in Sirte.]