The U.S. pulled a contingent of troops from Libya over the weekend amid rising violence in the capital city of Tripoli, America’s top commander for Africa said, The Hill reported.
“The security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable,” Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement. “Even with an adjustment of the force, we will continue to remain agile in support of existing U.S. strategy.”
“A contingent of U.S. forces supporting Africom temporarily relocated from Libya in response to security conditions. We will continue to monitor conditions on the ground and assess the feasibility for renewed U.S. military presence, as appropriate,” the combatant command tweeted.
Tensions in the country have risen since rogue Libyan military commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, ordered his forces to attack the government in Tripoli on Thursday, The Hill added.
Haftar’s attempt to seize power come as the nation continues to be in disarray since former dictator Muammar Qaddafi was deposed in 2011. The general’s Libyan National Army are seeking to take over from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Colonel Mohamed Gnounou of the forces loyal to the GNA said on Sunday his forces will engage in a counteroffensive called “Volcano of Anger” with the goal of “purging all Libyan cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement Sunday expressing concern over the situation in Libya and condemning Haftar’s offensive.
“The United States is deeply concerned about fighting near Tripoli. We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” he said. “This unilateral military campaign against Tripoli is endangering civilians and undermining prospects for a better future for all Libyans.”