“What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things, especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa.” Investigative Reporter Nick Turse
In an effort to secretly establish a special forces presence in Libya, earlier this week the United States government sent a group of 20 soldiers to Wattiya airbase just south of Tripoli, armed with assault rifles and bulletproof vests, but conspicuously not wearing uniforms. This effort was quickly put to an end when local commanders abruptly demanded that they leave.
In the Pentagon’s admission of the events (only after photos of the refused operatives were released via the Libyan Air Force on their Facebook page) they claimed the deployment was a “training mission” aimed at enhancing ties with the Libyan National Army, but didn’t explain why they sent the troops in entirely unannounced, nor why the troops were clearly combat-ready but out of uniform.
The Air Force pointed out the troops arrived with no coordination and apparently no approval. The Pentagon is claiming to have received approval from an unnamed government source, which seems quite contradictory after being forced to leave the country upon arrival. The Pentagon says they did to “avoid conflict.”
Sending troops into Libya has been the focus of some discussion among recent conferences of NATO members, including one earlier this month in Rome. It is surprising to learn, then, that the US went first, bungling their way into Libya and almost immediately getting chased out.
Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/17/secret-us-mission-in-libya-revealed-after-air-force-posted-pictures, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bryan-maygers/nick-turse-tomorrows-battlefield_b_7480360.html, http://truthinmedia.com/us-special-ops-kicked-libya/