The U.S. Department of State has instructed all Americans to leave Libya. At the same time, at least 1,000 marines are moving into position near the country and the United States is bolstering its military assets in the region. It appears that the security situation in Libya is deteriorating and the risk of a collapse is growing.
At the moment, the Military is claiming that they have no immediate plans to either evacuate American citizens or to put boots on the ground but it does appear that top leaders are preparing for the worst. With Libya descending into chaos and violent attacks being carried out by various parties across the country, it may only be a matter of time before a full scale civil war breaks out.
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The American government has not yet evacuated its embassy but appears to be ready to do so. In spite of the previous attacks on America’s embassies in Libya, the United States has pushed to keep them open. Closed embassies could destabilize the entire country and cast doubt on whether or not the central government can restore order.
Libya on the Verge of Collapse
Libya has been fracturing in recent days, with numerous groups now heavily engaged in in fighting. In the capital, gunmen have been attacking government leaders. Outside of Tripoli, the country is controlled by various local militias and jihadists looking to bring down any Western affiliated government.
Former general Khalifa Haftar, who now operates a sort of military, has even been carrying out air raids against jihadist camps. The former general is doing so without the consent of the weak central government. Haftar has been among the most aggressive and brutal when dealing with jihadists in Libya, many of whom are associated with Al Qaeda and other radical islamists groups.
Elections Fail to Calm Violence
On May 20th, Libya announced elections set for take place on June 25th. Some analysts hoped that the looming elections would calm tensions, but it appears if anything to have raised tensions. With Libya already so fractured, there is no single dominate party or group that could wrest control of the country and stabilize the situation.
The battle for elected seats, meanwhile, will likely only encourage more groups to take to the streets and to voice their opinions. At the same time many Jihadists and Islamic extremists will not support the elections and could even launch attacks against polling booths, politicians, and other high profile targets.