According to recent reporting from the Long War Journal and Agence France Presse, Salafist jihadist militia Ansar al-Sharia and its allies have seized Camp Thunderbolt, a key base for Libyan Special Operations Forces located in Benghazi.  The base is reported to have fallen following a week’s worth of sustained artillery shelling.

Ansar al-Sharia, the Islamist group responsible for the 11 September 2012 Benghazi attack on the US Temporary Mission Facility and CIA Annex that left four Americans dead (as SOFREP has extensively reported), also announced complete control over the city in the form of an “Islamic emirate” earlier this week.

This attack and announcement of an Islamic emirate follow weeks of intensified fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi that pits Islamist and jihadist militia coalitions against secular militias and government forces, and also follows the recent evacuation of US and other western embassy officials from the country earlier this week.

The Long War Journal reports that Ansar al-Sharia is “currently fighting under the umbrella of the ‘Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council’, and is an alliance of multiple [Salafist jihadist] groups.”  Ansar al-Sharia claims that the seizure of Camp Thunderbolt deals a blow to the secular militias and government forces currently working to regain control over the city, namely career Libyan soldier General Haftar and the forces loyal to him.