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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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. 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 , which began on 1 August and was initiated at the request of the GNA.

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The Washington Post reported that US Special Operations forces are providing direct, on-the-ground support for Bunyan Marsus fighters battling the ISIS in Sirte. The US troops were tasked with coordinating American airstrikes and providing intelligence as the coalition ousted ISIS from its stronghold in the city center. A total of 48 US airstrikes have taken place steadily since 1 August, targeting ISIS positions throughout Sirte… Italy appointed a new ambassador to Libya, while members from the Italian Senate called for a European summit on Libya to address the shortfalls of the Libyan Political Agreement and the significant gaps in US, UK and EU policy towards Libya’s various factions.

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The US airstrikes are further polarizing opinion on the ground in Libya and are making strange bedfellows between the Islamists and Haftar who both oppose the airstrikes. It is also being reported that Italy is now offering support to the US operations… Ahmed Mismari, LNA spokesman claimed that the air raid was carried out for US electoral purposes to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, insisting that Sirte would be only liberated by the LNA.

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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. 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.

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