World Bulletin/News Desk
One hundred U.S. Marines are being deployed to Liberia to help fight the country’s Ebola outbreak there, according to a Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the troops will be deployed "to provide interim re-supply and transportation support until Army units arrive later this month to assume that longer-term mission."
The Marines, from the U.S. Special Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa, will arrive in Liberia Thursday, with a prior stop in Senegal Wednesday night. Their footprint includes four MV-22 Ospreys and two KC-130 Hercules aircraft.
The head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. David Rodriguez, said the U.S. would deploy as many as 4,000 troops in Liberia to fight the virus that continues to spread across the country.
The news comes as the death of the Thomas Duncan was announced Wednesday. Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S.
Kirby said that the 100 troops are included in the number announced by Rodriguez but reiterated that the 4,000 figure is a working number and does not necessarily mean all of the troops will be deployed.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has caused nearly 3,900 deaths. The World Health Organization also reported that 216 health workers has died as a result of infection.
A recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, predicted that the number of Ebola cases could rise to between 550,000 and 1.4 million in Liberia and Sierra Leone by mid-January, without increased efforts to counter the epidemic.
Last Mod: 09 Ekim 2014, 10:52