It’s not a repeat of Benghazi because unlike Obama, the Russians protect their embassies. But that’s soft power vs hard power.
According to RT, (Russia’s propaganda network which I wouldn’t usually source but in this case it’s their people and their embassy), the diplomatic compound was shelled and the Russian flag was torn down by armed gunmen who did not succeed in penetrating the compound.
“There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian Embassy in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told RT.
The ITAR-TASS news agency’s witnesses said attackers tore down a Russian flag. The situation was soon brought under control and there are currently no intruders on Russia’s embassy territory.
According to reports, around 10 attackers drove to the embassy in two cars. Libyan News Agency (LANA) reports that they first opened fire on a parked diplomatic vehicle.
After setting the car ablaze, the attackers opened fire on the diplomatic building itself, LANA reported. But as security forces arrived at the scene, they drove off in an unknown direction.
It’s in the interests of the Russians and Libyans to minimize events. But the context for all this is that Tripoli has descended into lawlessness and militia fighting after the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempted coup. Tripoli was never that safe, but it’s now also Benghazi.
FOX News meanwhile has a dramatically different take.
An armed mob attacked the Russian Embassy compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli Wednesday after a Russian woman was accused of killing a Libyan air force pilot, and one of them was killed by random gunfire, Libyan officials said. The Russian Foreign Ministry said none of the embassy staff was wounded.
The Libyan official said the attackers climbed the walls of the embassy compound from three different directions, firing randomly in the air, and broke down its metal gate. The random gunfire wounded five, one of whom later died.
The story goes on to claim that it was retaliation for a Russian woman killing a Libyan pilot. Either way we have something that looks a lot like what happened during the September 11 attacks, but that didn’t get as out of control because there was security on the scene.