After fierce fighting on 28-30 July, the Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus coalition took full control of the Hay Dollar area in Sirte. The operation has thus far cost more than 300 Bunyan Marsus lives, with another 1,500 injured… On 1 August, Government of National Accord Prime Minister Fayez Serraj made a televised speech announcing the beginning of US airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte, following a formal request by the Presidential Council.
In Benghazi, the Libyan National Army (LNA) captured the symbolic Guwarsha checkpoint from Islamist militants on 28 July. The Islamists retaliated with suicide car bomb attacks on 29 July that killed two LNA soldiers and wounded four, while ISIS conducted another on 30 July near the Guwarsha Chinese flats, injuring three soldiers… Meanwhile, the LNA has reconsolidated its control in southwest Benghazi, after successfully repelling an attack by the Benghazi Defense Brigade.
The rising tide of dissatisfaction with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in western Libya is fueling the momentum of hardline Islamists and anti-GNA factions who held demonstrations on 29 July in Tripoli… In a key development, Wissam Ben Hamid, symbolic leader of the Benghazi Shura Revolutionary Council, appeared in a video published by the Benghazi Defense Brigades media outlet (Bushra) accusing Abdul Raouf Kara, the head of Rada, of being a hypocrite and equating him to Haftar. Rada is reportedly holding more than 200 militants thought to be affiliated with Ansar Al Sharia and ISIS.
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.