U.S. reassigns Marines part of crisis team
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said on Wednesday it has temporarily moved nearly 200 Marines to Sicily from their base in Spain as a precaution because of concerns about unrest in North Africa, bolstering the U.S. ability to respond to any crisis.
The Pentagon declined to single out any countries, but two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American concerns were centered squarely on Libya, where armed groups and Islamists refused to disarm after the 2011 ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
The Marines are part of a crisis response unit focused on embassy security formed since the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
That force is meant to speed response times in north and west Africa.
“We're doing this as a contingency because we believe that the security situation in North Africa is deteriorating to a point where there could be threats,” said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
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