US to Train Libyan Forces, Militias Ravage Tripoli

US official announces plans to train thousands of security forces, as local council calls on Misrata militias to leave Tripoli.

Ari Yashar ,

Militiamen in Tripoli, Libya
Militiamen in Tripoli, Libya

On Sunday, following heavy violence in Tripoli, a senior US military official revealed plans to train up to 7,000 members of Libya's security and special operations forces, according to Al Arabiya.

Aside from training thousands of conventional forces, special operations forces will be trained to conduct counter-terror operations, according to Admiral William McRaven, head of the U.S. military's Special Operations Command.

McRaven acknowledged dangers "that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records. But at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems."

The decision to offer American training comes only a week after documents revealed the Libyan justice ministry's intention to establish a new council ensuring the nation's laws better conform with Islamic Sharia law.

Meanwhile the local council of the Libyan city Misrata ordered its militia to pull out of Tripoli within three days.

Violence broke out in the capital city Friday when gunmen from the Misrata militia opened fire on protesters who were demanding they leave their headquarters in Tripoli, which they have occupied since Muammar Qaddafi's regime was deposed in 2011.

In that incident and subsequent clashes over the weekend more than 43 people were killed and 450 wounded. 

One local commander, Khalil al-Ruwaiti, who heads a unit under the Misrata Shield brigade, told the BBC that he will follow the order to withdraw. However his unit is not one of those that clashed with protesters on Friday.

Following the tumultuous weekend, Libya's deputy intelligence chief, Mustafa Nuh, was abducted on Sunday. No group has taken credit for the abduction so far.