29 August – 4 September: US AFRICOM confirm airstrike on suspected ISIS fighter in Bani Walid

Sep 5, 2018 | International actors

On 28 August, US AFRICOM said it had killed a suspected ISIS fighter in an airstrike in Bani Walid. AFRICOM said it had carried out the strike in coordination with the Government of National Accord (GNA). It didn’t name the person who was killed, but local residents named him as Walid Bu Hariba, a Libyan from Sirte. The strike reportedly hit him while he was driving in a vehicle in Bani Walid. No other casualties have been reported.

The UN Secretary General and UNSMIL have condemned the escalation of violence. UNSMIL held a meeting on 4 September with all involved parties to try and reach a ceasefire agreement. In a statement published late on 4 September, UNSMIL said that a ceasefire agreement was reached by all parties to end all hostilities, protect civilians, safeguard property and reopen Mitiga airport.

On 1 September, the governments of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States (P3 +1) issued a joint statement strongly condemning the violence and warning ‘those who tamper with security in Tripoli or elsewhere in Libya that they will be held accountable for any such actions.’ The statement reaffirmed strong support for the UN action of UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé.

The Italian embassy in Tripoli was forced to deny Italian media reports that it was vacating its embassy after non-essential staff and some ENI staff were vacated from Tripoli. US Africom was also forced to release a statement denying it was planning to intervene in the fighting after receiving a request for help from Serraj.