US deploys assault ship, 1,000 marines
Updated: 2014-05-29 07:07
US defense officials said on Tuesday the warship USS Bataan had moved into the Mediterranean Sea and could be used, if needed, for a possible evacuation of American personnel from Libya.
The Bataan would be in position "in a matter of days", a defense official said on condition of anonymity, adding it was a "precautionary" measure.
Officials told The Associated Press that the ship was unlikely to be positioned off the Libyan coast, but would remain close by in case it was needed.
The Bataan is carrying 1,000 marines and is equipped with several helicopters. The US also has 250 marines, seven tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft and three refueling aircraft available in Sigonella, Italy.
The precautions come amid ongoing controversy over a September 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
(China Daily 05/29/2014 page12)
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