Western — 22 August 2016

Aug 22, 2016 | International actors

As of 22 August, US Africa Command press statements say that the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit has conducted 77 airstrikes in Sirte under Operation Odyssey Lightning.  Additional reporting by the Washington Post indicates the US has begun utilizing the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter to provide close air support to Bunyan Marsus as the coalition makes its final push to eradicate ISIS from the city.  The report also noted that most of the targeting information for the airstrikes in Sirte is being relayed to U.S. forces by Libyan coalition troops.

Meanwhile, the no-confidence vote for the Government of National Accord (GNA) dealt by the Libyan House of Representatives on 22 August creates significant issues for the international community’s attempts to provide support to the GNA.  Further, it is not clear what affect this development will have on the West’s assistance package for the campaign against ISIS in Libya, including US Operation Odyssey Lightning, which began on 1 August and was initiated at the request of the GNA.