Small Wars Journal

US Removes Troops From Libya Amid Fighting in Capital

Sun, 04/07/2019 - 4:06pm

U.S. Removes Troops From Libya Amid Fighting in Capital by Jared Malsin – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military said it pulled a small contingent of American forces from Libya as the country teetered on the brink of full-scale civil war, with fighting continuing around the capital Tripoli.


The evacuation is the latest turn in a troubled history of American military involvement in Libya, which has been in turmoil since the overthrow of Moammar Ghadafi in an armed uprising supported by North Atlantic Treaty Organization airstrikes in 2011. U.S. forces have also played a key role in uprooting Islamic State, which gained a foothold in Libya in the chaos that ensued after the Arab Spring.


Citing the ability of U.S. forces to “flex where required” in Libya, Col. Christopher Karns, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, confirmed the departure from Tripoli. “Security conditions in pockets of the country have declined,” Mr. Karns said, declining to provide details on where the contingent is headed. “It is important various terror affiliated groups, such as ISIS, don’t have an exact map of our whereabouts,” he said, referring to Islamic State.


Sunday’s decision affects an unspecified number of American troops stationed in Libya to provide support to diplomatic missions and carry out counterterrorism and other activities, military officials said. Military officials said the declining security situation warranted their removal…

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