US pulls troops out of Libya amid rise in violence

The U.S. pulled a contingent of troops from Libya over the weekend amid rising violence in the capital city of Tripoli, America's top commander for Africa said.

“The security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable,” Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement.

“Even with an adjustment of the force, we will continue to remain agile in support of existing U.S. strategy.”

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Africom further clarified that the repositioning was in response to security concerns.

"A contingent of U.S. forces supporting Africom temporarily relocated from Libya in response to security conditions," the combatant command tweeted. "We will continue to monitor conditions on the ground and assess the feasibility for renewed U.S. military presence, as appropriate." 

Tensions in the country have risen since rogue Libyan military commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar ordered his forces to attack the government in Tripoli on Thursday.

Fighting, including airstrikes, has continued throughout the weekend.

Haftar's attempt to seize power comes as the nation continues to be in disarray since former leader Moammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011.

The general's Libyan National Army are seeking to take over from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Col. Mohamed Gnounou of the forces loyal to the GNA said on Sunday his forces will engage in a counteroffensive called “Volcano of Anger” with the goal of “purging all Libyan cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces.” 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo'China will not sit idly by' if US sells fighters to Taiwan, official says The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Iceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit MORE released a statement Sunday expressing concern over the situation in Libya and condemning Haftar's offensive.

"The United States is deeply concerned about fighting near Tripoli. We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar's forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital," he said. "This unilateral military campaign against Tripoli is endangering civilians and undermining prospects for a better future for all Libyans."