US evacuates personnel From Libya due to increased unrest

US evacuates personnel From Libya due to increased unrest
  • Clock-gray 14:14
  • calendar-gray 07 April 2019

The United States Africa Command said on Sunday it has relocated a military unit from Libya as Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar continues his offensive against militia forces in the Libyan capital Tripoli, ONAreports citing Sputnik.

Africa Command, known as Africom, said in a statement: “Due to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of US forces supporting US Africa Command temporarily relocated in response to security conditions on the ground.”

The US statement gave no details of how big the force is, or how long it has been deployed. It is the first public mention that America had troops stationed on Libyan soil.

Africom commander General Thomas Waldhauser said: “The security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable.”

The evacuation came as Field Marshal Haftar’s offensive entered its fourth day, with units of his Libyan National Army fighting against Tripoli militias in the southern suburbs of the city.

It is the first evacuation of US personnel from Tripoli since the summer of 2014, when the US provided air cover for the evacuation of its embassy from Libya when fighting erupted in the Libyan capital.

US special forces have been deployed to Libya several times in recent years, with a series of raids mounted to seize Libyans accused of terrorism. They included a 2014 raid to capture Ahmed Abu Khattala, later jailed in America for his role in the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi in 2012.

The US has joined fellow members of the G7 Economic grouping, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK in condemning the Tripoli fighting, issuing a joint statement declaring: “We firmly believe that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict.”

Faiq Mahmudov

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