Back in July, the United States embassy in Tripoli was evacuated due to concerns about the escalating violence in Libya. On Sunday, it was reported that Libyan militiamen had broken into a residential compound previously occupied by the now absent American diplomats. While the embassy itself, located some distance away, is said to be secure and under the protection of Libyan guards, it seems that the trespassers are really making themselves at home in their newly acquired living quarters. In fact, they’re having a pool party!
On Sunday, a video apparently shot by one of the militants popped up on YouTube. The footage shows a few dozen men crowding around the compound’s swimming pool, cheering bro-ishly as some dudes dive off a balcony and into the water.
So, who are these guys? It’s not totally clear, but they probably belong to one of two rival factions: the Zintanis or the Misuratans. The New York Times explains that, in recent weeks, “Militias led from the Western mountain town of Zintan were fighting rivals from the coastal city of Misurata. The Zintanis accused the Misuratans of colluding with Islamists, and the Misuratans accused the Zintanis of conspiring in a counterrevolution. Both sides deny the claims.” The Misuratans now control Tripoli, while the members of Libya’s central government and parliament have been driven to the eastern city of Tobruk.
Obviously, the Obama administration wouldn’t be thrilled with the takeover of any American facility abroad, but the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya makes the country a particularly sensitive subject. While the current situation in Tripoli isn’t exactly Benghazi II, you can bet that a lot of crazies are getting ready to argue that it somehow is.