U.S. Closes Embassy in Libya, Evacuates Staff Amidst Fighting in Capital

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 26 2014 9:51 AM

U.S. Closes Embassy in Libya, Evacuates Staff Amidst Fighting in Capital

The U.S. embassy in Tripoli is evacuated.

Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department announced on Saturday the U.S. embassy in Libya has been shut down, and American diplomats evacuated by a military escort, as fighting intensifies in the capital. “Tripoli has been embroiled for weeks in inter-militia violence that has killed and wounded dozens on all sides,” the Associated Press reports. “The [State] department said embassy operations will be suspended until a determination is made that the security situation has improved.” Three years after Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster, militia violence has plagued the country and the deteriorating security situation has created worries that the fighting could spill across Libya’s borders.

“The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident,” according to the AP. The embassy was already operating with a limited staff due to security concerns. A State department spokeswoman said the fighting was taking place very close to the embassy, which led to the second American embassy closure in Tripoli in three years.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM Tracking Down the Mysterious Typeface of Savannah, Georgia
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 1:38 PM Why Is Fall Red in America but Yellow in Europe? A possible explanation, 35 million years in the making.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.