In Sirte, fighting halted last week but resumed fiercely on 27 August. The break in the fighting was reportedly to allow wives and children of ISIS fighters to exit the conflict zone towards the southwest, though there is no evidence confirming this actually took place. It is likely that key ISIS commanders will have taken advantage of this lull in fighting to escape to the south, meaning the destruction of ISIS in Sirte will not mean the eradication of ISIS in Libya… On 28 August, Bunyan Marsus (BM) fighters aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) closed in on ISIS-held districts 1 and 3 of Sirte. At least 35 were killed and more than 180 injured as a result of fierce fighting and reportedly 14 attempted SVBIED attacks by ISIS.

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At the moment of partial victory in Sirte, various pillars that should make up the anti-ISIS coalition are feuding with each other. The House of Representatives (HoR) has rejected the Government of National Accord, while the Libyan National Army (LNA) and Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) are facing increasing tension over Zuetina in the oil crescent, and various interests are preventing oil production in order to seek their own demands.

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In Benghazi, conflict continues between the Libya National Army (LNA) and the coalition of ISIS and Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council. Fighting intensified in parts of Guwarsha and Ganfuda throughout last week, as jihadists still manage to launch suicide attacks and mortar fire on advancing LNA units… On 28 August, jihadist media outlets released a video showing the recovery of bodies of children killed on 27 August in Ganfuda allegedly by French airstrikes. Families and supporters of jihadists held demonstrations in Tripoli on 29 August in front of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Abu Setta Naval Base in Tripoli condemning the attacks and calling for humanitarian assistance of the families trapped in the war-zone.

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On 24 August, the Presidential Council (PC) issued statement accepting the House of Representatives (HoR) vote of no-confidence in the current Government of National Accord (GNA), adding that it will draw up a new list of GNA ministers for its approval, while current ministers will continue in office in a caretaker role until the new government is voted on… UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler, US Special Envoy Jonathan Winer and British Ambassador Peter Millett all backed the PC’s position , showing that they are not willing to alter the LPA process because of HoR intransigence… On 25 August, a joint statement was issued by the France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States backing the PC and reiterating their recognition of the GNA as the sole legitimate government of Libya.

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