By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 25 May 2016:
The Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council has nothing to do with IS and has no political . . .[restrict]ambitions, the organisation has claimed in a clear attempt to distance itself from IS.
However in a statement put out yesterday, the BRSC makes no mention of Ansar Al-Sharia, which, like IS, has been branded by the UN as a terrorist organisation.
Rather the BRSC insists that it is not an extremist body and considers the IS caliphate declared by IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, to be a violation of Islamic principles. IS activities were giving cover for renewed foreign intervention in Libya. IS in Libya, it added, was a counter-revolutionary force.
The BRSC is clearly trying to disavow its IS connections, even though it has long fought alongside them in Benghazi. But at the same time, the statement damns the “stupid attacks of [Khalifa] Hafter and Qaddafi’s slaves in their miserable attempt to take Benghazi”.
There have in fact been tensions between BRSC and IS. In August last year the BRSC commander in Sabri, Sulaimon Buazza was drowned when his boat came under fire as he and colleagues were leaving the Sabri beach. There were unconfirmed reports that Bouazza had been quitting Sabri after a row with IS fellow-defenders, and that it was possible that his vessel had been fired on by IS. https://www.libyaherald.com/2015/08/16/is-and-ansar-falling-out-with-benghazi-allies-reports/
Despite yesterday’s statement, the BRSC was still engaged in fighting with the army in Benghazi’s Gwarsha district in a battle which must be delaying the army’s final push on the remaining IS positions around the Ganfouda tourist village. [/restrict]