Heavily armed U.S. Marines in Ospreys flew above Americans as they made a ground-exit from the Tripoli Embassy to Tunisia earlier today. The Pentagon just released this official report, in part:
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, Libya on Saturday, July 26.
All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement.
There were approximately 150 personnel, including the U.S. Marines, who were driven into Tunisia, thereby suspending all operations at the embassy compound. Reports did not mention how many private defense contractors, also used for security, were at the embassy.
The State Department indicated that rival militia groups active in the area caused a significant deterioration in circumstances in the city. John Kerry, Secretary of State pressed the rival militias to engage in a political process expressing the obvious: "the current course of violence would only bring chaos."
According to the Pentagon there was a “robust package of military forces” in close proximity to the embassy, including two F-16s, a Navy destroyer offshore, overhead drones as well as the U.S.M.C. Ospreys. The report mentioned ISR assets, meaning intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The mission was conducted without incident.
Although the State Department says the suspension is temporary, some of those inside the consulate have plans to return to Washington, D.C. Until the situation improves, embassy staff will try to conduct operations from locations other than Libya.
Additional information for those who might have family in the diplomatic corps, please contact the U.S. Africa Command public affairs office at: (+49) 0711 729-5984 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .