U.S. Embassy in Libya evacuates personnel

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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.

CNN has learned there were two F-16s on combat air patrol overhead, a drone tracking the convoy to the border and a Navy destroyer offshore in the Mediterranean.

There were also several dozen heavily armed Marines flying overhead on V-22 Osprey aircraft in an “airborne response force” that were prepared to land and rapidly evacuate the Americans during the transit to the Tunisian border if they came under attack.

The Pentagon had pressed for weeks to evacuate the embassy, especially after the Tripoli airport came under repeated militia attack, leaving Americans no way to get out via commercial air, the official said.

The decision to use vehicles to drive the Americans across the border was seen as the best low-profile approach to conducting the evacuation rather than sending U.S. military helicopters and troops into Tripoli.

8 comments

  • Becky

    The US President broke protocol for his sudden “Emergency War” in Libya to help “rebel”/terrorists.
    They “promised” to pay the US back for the “Help”. THIS is IT? Repeated Attacks on the US?
    The US President left behind all of Gaddafi’s vast Armory and Chemical Weapons Arsenal to the “Rebels”. Could they have been the chemicals used in Syria?
    Seems you just can’t trust Rebels/Terrorists/President. The Nobel Peace Prize Winner bring
    World-Wide Peace and Domestic unity, prosperity, jobs, welfare and welcome to the World’s
    Invaders, and Obamacares to Bankrupt the US for his “friends”.

    • manalishi

      Barry Soertoro’s arms trafficking though Lybia again? Maybe this time Robbies b-buddy won’t allow his blind followers to be Hillaried in a Benghazi situation again. “The Pentagon had pressed for weeks to evacuate the embassy” But Barrack the tranny is golfing, fundraising , and taking vacation. “the Tripoli airport came under repeated militia attack, leaving Americans no way to get out ” No mainstream from the lapdog media there either. If Robbie can stop the handies for a moment, maybe he can explain how this is Bush’s fault. I’m kinda surprised WTVR let this much info slip through.

      • Robbie

        Obama did in fact make mistakes causing the deaths of 4 Americans. Bush was forewarned of a pending attack while he was on vacation in 2001. Close to 3,000 died on 9-11! You hate Obama I get that! You hate him because he is intelligent, black and the man that destroyed every candidate the pathetic Republican party threw at him. You hate him because he can single handily raise millions for his party but you hate him most because he has saved this country from the 8 destructive years of Bush.

      • manalishi

        Are you back on Bush there princess? You cant slurp your way out of everything/anything despite the new LGBT coalition your in.

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