The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement on Sunday that it had temporarily evacuated an unspecified contingent of US forces from Libya, citing the deteriorating security situation in the wake of fighting between two rival administrations in the oil-rich country, Presstv Reported.
"Due to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of US forces supporting US Africa Command temporarily relocated from the country in response to security conditions on the ground," the statement read.
The AFRICOM did not elaborate on the size of the troop contingent or the place they had been moved to.
“The command is making the personnel adjustments in response to the evolving security situation. US Africa Command will continue to monitor conditions on the ground in Libya, and assess the feasibility for renewed US military presence, as appropriate,” the AFRICOM said in the statement.
Libya has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed in a NATO military intervention that followed a popular uprising.
Gaddafi's ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
The North African country is now divided between two rival governments – the House of Representatives, which is based in the eastern city of Tobruk and under the command of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, and the internationally-recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj, or the Tripoli-based unity Government of National Accord (GNA).
The AFRICOM statement came as the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Haftar, have reportedly advanced into the capital's southern outskirts and taken its former international airport.
The LNA claimed that its advance on the country’s west was meant to root out what it called “terrorist groups” in the restive region.
Haftar's troops, who are backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, have been slowed in their advance amid "intensive" airstrikes by forces backing the GNA.
The recent escalation prompted the UN Security Council to call for an emergency meeting behind closed doors on Friday.
The United Nations has already voiced deep concerns about the escalating tensions. It plans to hold a conference later this month in the Libyan city of Ghadames to discuss a political solution to the conflict.