The State Department ordered the US Embassy in Libya evacuated amid civil war conditions there Saturday.
“All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement,” Defense press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, “The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia.”
During the movement, F-16’s, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets and an Airborne Response Force with MV-22 Ospreys were employed, according to the release.
US Embassy in Libya evacuated amid civil war
The U.S. Embassy in Libya evacuated its personnel on Saturday because of heavy militia violence in the capital, Tripoli, U.S. officials said. About 150 personnel, including 80 U.S. Marines were evacuated from the embassy in the early hours of Saturday morning and were driven across the border into Tunisia, U.S. officials confirm to CNN. CNN has learned the plan to evacuate the Americans was in the works for several days, but the decision to carry out the plan was made just in the last few days as the security situation around the embassy deteriorated. Militia fighting in the area of the embassy and airport has degraded security in Tripoli significantly. The Libyan government was informed of the evacuation after it was carried out, according to U.S. officials. The Pentagon had a “robust package of military forces” in the vicinity but out of sight, ready to move in if the convoy of evacuees had come under attack.
The turmoil in Libya has been ongoing since earlier this month when rival militias began battling for control of Tripoli’s airport. Dozens are believed to be dead. Exact numbers are difficult as the press is avoiding the area because it is highly unstable and unsafe. The country is deteriorating because the government isn’t powerful enough to stop the rival Islamic militias from running ramped all over the country.
This evacuation is no doubt in order to prevent another terrorist attack on our embassy. The U.S. embassy in Libya is the site of the September 11th 2012 terrorist attack that killed 4 Americans; The U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. Ten others were also injured in the attacks. The terrorists responsible for that attack are slowly being captured and brought to justice.
Timothy Davis contributed to this report.
US Embassy in Libya Evacuated Amid Civil War