After horrific ISIS activities in Sirte the previous week, on Wednesday 19 August, the Arab League held an extraordinary meeting in Cairo, opting to pledge to help Libya in its fight against extremism and terrorism. However, the pledge made by Arab states to back Libya did not go into the technical details of what this help and support would actually entail.
Further Arab League meetings are scheduled in Cairo for the current week and international observers expect these to be used to flesh out the details of what Arab League member states will actually provide Libya with. Given the initial request made by the Tubruq establishment, observers have taken the pledge of support to indicate at minimum the undertaking of airstrikes on IS elements and possibly also the provision of diplomatic support in having the arms embargo currently imposed on Libya finally lifted.
Tubruq-based Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed al-Dayri, suggested that besides the establishment of an all-Arab intervention force, he was looking to get technical support, through provision of materiel and ad hoc technologies, by western partners who had so far shied away from military engagement in Libya.
Khalifa Haftar is reportedly busy touring Jordan and Egypt, in a trip seemingly designed to allow him to coordinate the upcoming military intervention inside the country, cracks and tensions emerged also within the Tubruq bloc itself. In particular, HoR President Ageela Saleh Gwaider threatened to suspend his membership of the HoR due to his opposition to the appointment of Masoud Erhuma as Defence Minister. Khalifa Haftar has also been reportedly opposed to the appointment of Erhuma who hails from the Western Libya city of Rajaban and is perceived to be Prime Minister Thinni’s choice.