Islamic State released a video on Sunday that appeared to show the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that his country would respond to the deaths as it saw fit. Speaking on national television hours after the release of the video, Sisi said Cairo would choose the "necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings".
The son of a nomadic camel herder, Muammar Gaddafi eventually left behind the goatskin tent in the desert where he lived as a child — but he never lost his love of the Bedouin aesthetic. He just embellished it with gold. This week marks the 45th anniversary of the 27-year-old upstart’s Sept. 1, 1969, bloodless coup against Libya’s King Idris, during which he overthrew the leader, promoted himself to colonel and, as TIME reported a few months into his reign, went from “virtually unknown” to vastly powerful:
As Libya has descended into chaos, it has split into two broad camps. On one side is Libya Dawn, an Islamist-backed umbrella group; on the other is a renegade general, Khalifa Hifter, who is based in the eastern part of the country along with his allies. As this power struggle has escalated, it is no longer just an internal Libyan conflict. It is now being fought regionally, with parallels to other battles playing out in North Africa and the Middle East.
At least 36 people were killed in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, many of them civilian, where Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants clashed on Saturday night and Sunday morning, medical and security sources said. The government said more than 150 people have died in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in two weeks of fighting as clashes forced U.S. and foreign diplomats to pull out of the country.
The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said "free-wheeling militia violence" prompted the move. American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, with U.S. fighter jets and other aircraft providing protection, the State Department said. 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.
This map of the location of US Navy ships during the 2012 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch, is the latest purported smoking gun in what Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called "the worst tragedy since 9/11." The implication: The White House was in a position to intervene while the attack was ongoing but, for some reason, chose not to. "Map Shows Dozens of U.S. Military Ships Stationed In North Africa Waters During Benghazi Attack," wrote Katie Pavlich at Town Hall, a headline that was picked up by the esteemed Fox Nation.
CBS' "60 Minutes" announced Thursday night that it's reviewing a controversial Oct. 27 report on the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, to determine if its eyewitness, security officer Dylan Davies, "misled" the network. "60 Minutes" said it had "learned of new information that undercuts" the harrowing account given on air.
The Benghazi attacks (the consulate and the CIA compound) are absolutely not unprecedented even though they're being treated that way by Republicans. So we're left to conclude the obvious. The investigations and accusations and conspiracy theories are entirely motivated by politics.