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The Libya Shield Force is an armed organisation formed in 2012 out of anti-Gaddafi armed groups spread throughout Libya. The Libyan parliament designated much of the Libya Shield Force as terrorist and elements of the Libya Shield Force were identified as linked to al-Qaeda as early as 2012. Since the outbreak of the Libyan Civil War (2014–present), Second Libyan Civil War, the Libya Shield Force has been associated with the Islamic fundamentalist side. In 2019, it reportedly aided the Government of National Accord in defending Tripoli from an 2019–20 Western Libya campaign, LNA offensive.


Branches

The major branches of the Libya Shield Force fighting for Islamists in the current conflict are: *Libya Shield 1, now part of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries which is designated "terrorist" by the House of Representatives (Libya), House of Representatives *Another Benghazi unit, ''Shield 2'', is considered more sympathetic to the federalists. The force reports to the Libyan defense ministry under the command of Wisam Bin Ahmid (or Humid), who commanded a Benghazi brigade called ''Free Libya Martyrs''. *The Western Shield, serving the General National Congress (2014), General National Congress. The Western Shield is involved in fighting to the south and west of Tripoli. It is linked to Al-Qaida leader Abd al-Muhsin Al-Libi, also known as Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr or Ibrahim Tantoush (not to be confused with Abu Anas al Libi). *The Central Shield, serving the General National Congress. The Central Shield was heavily involved in the fighting to capture Tripoli International Airport. Due to the large number of Misrata District, Misratans, the Central Shield is often identified as Misrata brigades. Officially designated as "terrorists" by the Libyan House of Representatives.


Creation

The Libyan Ministry of Defense, under decision No. 29, formed and named Libya Shield Forces on 8 March 2012. Decision No. 29 states, "A brigade shall be formed in the Central Region of Libya and is to be called Libya Shield – The forces of the Central Brigade shall consist, in general, of rebels from the following regions, Misrata, Sirte, Jafra, Bani Walid, Terhuna, Alkhmuss, Mslath and Zliten. Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim Moussa shall be the commander of the brigade and shall be stationed in Misrata." This decision was signed by the Minister of Defense, Osama Abdulsalam Aljuli. Thus, the name Libya Shield Forces was first coined by the Libyan Minister of Defense.


References

{{Reflist Military of Libya First Libyan Civil War