The unstable situation in Libya over the last 24 hours led to the Greek government’s decision to evacuate the Greek embassy in Tripoli and withdraw its diplomatic staff and Greeks from the region. The plan came after Libya warned on Monday of the risk of a humanitarian and environmental disaster after a second fuel tank caught fire amid heavy fighting at Tripoli airport between rival militia and Libyan troops struggling for control of the city.
Clashes have been ongoing in Benghazi since July 14 and have been the worst since the Libyan civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Salamis, a frigate of the Greek navy, left on Wednesday with the mission of carrying Greek citizens and diplomatic staff out of Libya today. Sources state that it will arrive in Libya this afternoon and will evacuate 87 people – seven embassy employees and 80 Greeks who live in the country. The special forces will ensure the orderly withdrawal of the Greeks from the region.
France made a similar move with a temporary closure of its embassy after the U.S. smuggled all of its diplomatic staff to neighboring Tunisia on Saturday under the escort of marines and fighter aircraft. On Sunday, a British convoy was hit by gunfire during an attempted carjacking where nobody was hurt.