Below are the takeaways for the week:
- Salafi-jihadi groups began explosive attack campaigns to degrade security in central and eastern Libya. The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) to target security forces on the outskirts of Sirte district in central Libya, protecting the group’s safe haven and setting conditions for it to return toward its former stronghold on the coast. Likely al Qaeda-associated militants resumed regular VBIED attacks in Benghazi, signaling the possible rebirth of an insurgency in Libya’s second-largest city.
- A reported U.S. airstrike that killed the deputy leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) may inadvertently strengthen the emir of the TTP’s control over the organization. The late deputy leader of the TTP led a faction that had previously split from the group. Alternatively, the TTP may re-fracture if the new deputy leader fails to gain the support of previously dissident factions.
- The role of Iran’s conventional military (the Artesh) in de-escalating tensions with Turkish forces in northwestern Syria underscores the Iranian regime’s efforts to re-posture elements of the Artesh force structure towards supporting the IRGC’s expeditionary operations. The Artesh Air Force commander reiterated Artesh commanders’ willingness to expand the Artesh’s historic mission of protecting Iran’s borders to include expeditionary deployment.