Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

July 26, 2014 - 7:15 am

The Defense Department was called in to evacuate all staff from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in what the State Department called a “temporary staff relocation” to Tunis.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said “at the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military assisted in the relocation of personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli” today. There were reportedly 150 staff there including 80 Marines.

“All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement,” Kirby said. “The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia.”

“During movement, F-16′s, ISR assets and an Airborne Response Force with MV-22 Ospreys provided security. The mission was conducted without incident, and the entire operation lasted approximately five hours.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is “grateful to the Government of Tunisia for its cooperation and support” and that the staff would travel “onward” from there.

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” Harf said in a statement this morning. “We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region.”

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions,” she continued.

“We will continue to engage all Libyans and the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict and to advance Libya’s democratic transition. We reiterate that Libyans must immediately cease hostilities and begin negotiations to resolve their grievances. We join the international community in calling on all Libyans to respect the will of the people, including the authority of the recently-elected Council of Representatives, and to reject the use of violence to affect political processes. Many brave Libyans sacrificed to advance their country toward a more secure and prosperous future. We continue to stand solidly by the Libyan people as they endeavor to do so.”

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon simply said “as Americans evacuate from Tripoli, I want to express my deep gratitude for the U.S. forces who have been on standby alert there.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with all Americans in Libya,” McKeon added. “I wish them a safe return, and for the safety of American troops watching over them.”

Libyan airspace has largely been closed due to the violence. The Libya Herald reported that Libyan Airlines planes were being hit on the tarmac in missile attacks on Tripoli International Airport.

A Maltese oil worker was abducted in recent days and Turkey told all of its citizens to leave the country.

The ongoing violence threatens to derail a meeting of Libya’s House of Representatives planned in Benghazi on Aug. 4.

 

 

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
This not the time to pull back but to exercise power. There is at least one MEU of Marines in the Med send them in to protect our people and property.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities..." hahahahahahahahahahaha
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
john fraud kerry, wants so badly to do or say something to profoundly prove he should have been elected in 04. any republican senator that voted to confirm him, should dumped.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Greetings:

At the risk of abusing your hospitality, I have one more I feel compelled to add. So let's have a big hand for:

"Leaving from Behind."

9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's the deal here? Are the Libyans upset about some video of Mohammed or something?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
At least we know where Barry was--on the golf course.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Chris Stevens could not be reached for comment .
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Well, I guess that this will be counted as a success what with no rooftop helicopter loading pictures coming available. But to me, it sure seems like closing the barn door after your horses were killed.



9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
This not the time to pull back but to exercise power. There is at least one MEU of Marines in the Med send them in to protect our people and property.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The world is spiraling out of control.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities..." hahahahahahahahahahaha
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only a couple of years late, but "What difference at this point does it make?"
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hereby declare Libya an old school medieval multi-caliphate.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bravo, Obama! Another "Secure" MENA nation.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All

One Trackback to “U.S. Evacuates Tripoli Embassy Personnel by Land to Tunisia”