Washington did not play an insignificant role in turning Libya from a rather stable nation into a chaotic free-for-all battle zone. And now the Pentagon says it is too dangerous for American troops to stay on the ground.
The US Africa Command announced Sunday that it was pulling out a small contingent, which was deployed in Libya a few years ago to assist airstrikes against forces loyal to the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The move came in response to the latest escalation of violence in the country.
“Due to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of US forces supporting US Africa Command temporarily relocated in response to security conditions on the ground,” AFRICOM said in a statement.
“We will continue to monitor conditions on the ground and assess the feasibility for renewed US military presence, as appropriate,” said Nate Herring, an AFRICOM spokesman.
Libya remains a fractured land ever since the NATO-backed militant uprising ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. While British and French warplanes did most of the actual bombing, the US contribution was crucial to the war effort, with America providing things like intelligence gathering and air refueling.