This week, Western powers opted to loosen their policies toward Libya in order to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) and combat the expansion of ISIS.  At a meeting in Vienna on 16 May, the US and its European and regional partners agreed to supply the GNA with weapons, aimed at preventing ISIS fighters and rival militias from further …

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This week, British and Italian leaders contemplated the possibility of providing military support to the Government of National Accord (GNA), but have maintained that the conditions for an international intervention are not yet favourable. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that talks on providing assistance to the GNA would take place in Vienna (not Rome) on 16 May. Regional foreign ministers …

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During a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing on 28 April, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford said the US has moved surveillance drones into Libyan airspace to gather intelligence and to prepare for the potential of additional airstrikes against ISIS.  At a press conference on 3 May, Dunford also said that US AFRICOM Commander David Rodriguez has met …

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UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler called for western forces to help combat ISIS in partnership with the Government of National Accord (GNA). Kobler said foreign powers should offer training and military support, combined with an end to the UN arms embargo. “The Daesh expansion can only be stopped militarily,” he said. “There is a consensus that a united Libyan army …

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British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Tripoli on 18 April to meet with the Government of National Accord (GNA), pledging £10 million in support to help train Libyan state institutions. Hammond has also suggested that the UK would be ready to contribute to an international coalition to train the Libyan National Army. Speaking at the British House of Commons on …

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Western countries’ statements and gestures of support for the Government of National Accord (GNA) Presidential Council continued to pour in throughout the week. Germany has pledged to provide the Presidency Council with €3 million in immediate aid to spend on “much-needed security infrastructure,” with a further €10 million ear marked for a stabilization fund to allow the GNA to begin …

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On 1 April, the European Union imposed sanctions on three prominent Libyan politicians opposed to the installation of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The three targets were Agilah Saleh, president of the House of Representatives (HoR), Khalifa Ghwell, prime minister of the General National Congress (GNC), and Nouri Abusahmen, president of the GNC.   A meeting was also scheduled …

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The Guardian reports that British Special Air Service (SAS) forces have been deployed in Libya since the beginning of the year. This information comes from a leaked memo detailing a confidential briefing given to US congressional leaders in January 2016 by Jordan’s King Abdullah. The memo indicates that US lawmakers were personally briefed about plans for Jordan’s special forces to …

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The UK parliament’s foreign affairs select committee asked the government whether it intends to send 1,000 non-combat troops to Libya to train an army capable of driving ISIS from the country. Senior members of the committee said they were told in Tunis that the Italians would provide 5,000 troops and the UK 1,000, with more provided by the French. However, …

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In an Atlantic article from the April 2016 issue, US President Barack Obama hinted that America’s European and British partners have gravely disappointed in their support for Libya. Meanwhile last week’s comments by Italian Prime Minister Renzi against French ‘haste’ in 2011 have generated their fair share of scorn. The US, UK and EU called on Libyan politicians to hand …

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A recent article by the Washington Post said that the Pentagon had presented the White House with the most detailed set of military options yet for attacking the growing ISIS threat in Libya. The plans are said to include a range of potential airstrikes against training camps, command centres, munitions depots and other militant targets. Roughly 30-40 targets have reportedly …

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As the political process for Libya mediated by the UN begins to flounder, signals are emerging that the international community is more seriously considering the ‘military option’. International media reports have begun to reveal the different roles played by western countries such as France, the US and the UK in supporting various power brokers in both western and eastern Libya …

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Despite the inconsistency of the Western community’s position vis-à-vis ISIS in Libya, as well as the faltering Libyan political process, an international bombing campaign of ISIS forces in the country seems a very probable prospect in the near future…Although US Secretary of State John Kerry, downplayed the US role or the intentions of President Barack Obama to intervene militarily in Libya, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that Obama is “on the verge of taking action” against ISIS in Libya.

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Days before the Italian president’s visit to the White House on 9 February, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter reportedly told media that the Italians have indicated that they want the lead in Libya, an impulse the US is willing to support. … Meanwhile Russian media is reporting that Russian Ambassador to Libya Ivan Moltokov has unveiled his country’s intention to fight terrorism, also saying that Russia has approached the UN Security Council with a request to lift arms sanctions against Libya to enable its fight against ISIS.

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International media widely speculated last week about the potential for Western intervention against ISIS in Libya, fuelling controversy and tension inside the country, and even provoking citizens to begin stockpiling essential goods in Benghazi and other areas in Eastern Libya. The value of the Libyan Dinar (LYD) also plummeted, reaching a record low on the black market.  On 1 February, …

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The international community continues to push ahead with plans to intervene decisively in Libya, including statements to that effect by the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week. Despite the obvious urgency for such international assistance to counter ISIS in Libya, the political disconnect between the UN and international missions with the Libyan context, means that the …

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