Western — 1 August 2016

Aug 1, 2016 | International actors

On 25 July, the Bunyan Marsus operations room officially recommended the Presidential Council call for US Airstrikes on ISIS targets inside Sirte. On 1 August, Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez Serraj made a televised speech announcing the beginning of US airstrikes upon a formal request by the Presidential Council, and Libya’s joining of the international anti-ISIS coalition. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed that US warplanes launched a new round of airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte at the request of the GNA. Pentagon officials said the strikes were conducted by a combination of manned and unmanned aircraft, and that strikes will continue to help enable the GNA-aligned forces to make a decisive and strategic advance. The direct involvement of the US on behalf of the GNA may have a direct impact on current political dynamics on the ground, and will likely raise tensions between GNA supporters and anti-GNA hardliners and Islamists in Tripoli.