Time to cancel that timeshare in Tripoli. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State urged all citizens to avoid Libya, and those currently in the country to “depart immediately.” The Navy has dispatched the USS Bataan and a force of 1,000 Marines to assist in the event of an evacuation. The WSJ reports:
Tripoli, the Libyan capital, is being increasingly consumed by destabilizing violence, including recent attacks on the parliament and the incoming prime minister’s home. […]Rival militant groups have vied for control, fighting that has only intensified in recent weeks.A rogue Libyan general, Khalifa Hifter, has been waging battles against Islamist militants with attacks in Tripoli and the main eastern city, Benghazi, that have created the immediate crisis. Militants have been lining up in support or in opposition to Gen. Hifter, who has called for the suspension of the Islamist-dominated parliament and creation of an emergency cabinet to oversee a process leading to new parliamentary elections.
As we have written for some time, the Western intervention in Libya was half-hearted and poorly planned. With emergent strongmen vying with Islamic terrorists for control of a chaotic country, we do not expect the situation to improve. Clearly, now neither does the State Department.