State Department Tells Americans 'Leave Libya Now'
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 07:36 PM
By: Newsmax Wires
The State Department on Tuesday told U.S. citizens in Libya to leave the country immediately, warning that the security situation remained "unpredictable and unstable."
The warning came as the Navy warship USS Bataan moved into the Mediterranean Sea, making it available for use for any possible evacuation.
"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Libya depart immediately," the State Department said in a new travel warning.
U.S. defense officials say the Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, is not near Libya and isn't expected to be positioned off its coast. It more likely will remain in the region, and could move or respond quickly if called.
State Department officials said Tuesday there are no plans for an evacuation at this time.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.
A renegade Libyan general has launched a military offensive against Islamists and their allied militias in Libya, which has been plagued by lawlessness since the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The last travel warning for Libya issued on Dec. 12 strongly advised against all but essential travel to Tripoli and against traveling outside the capital.