US moving 200 Marines to Sicily for proximity to Libya

The US has begun transferring 200 marines and two planes to its base at Sigonella in Sicily in case of the need to deploy them in Libya.

US moving 200 Marines to Sicily for proximity to Libya

World Bulletin/News Desk

Defense Department spokesman George Little confirmed Monday that an element of the U.S. Marine unit in Spain moved over the weekend to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. 

Little said the unit is still on standby, but the move puts it closer to Libya.

A unit of about 50 Marines has already been providing security at the embassy in Libya since January.

Meanwhile, another unit, an elite response team based in Germany and assigned to AFRICOM, was put on alert last week.

Italy on Wednesday said the United States was transferring 200 marines and two planes to its base at Sigonella in Sicily in case of the need to deploy them in Libya.

Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said the transfer was "in accordance with bilateral agreements" between Italy and the United States, after leftist lawmakers in parliament complained they had not been told about the deployment.

She told parliament that 75 marines would arrive first followed by 125 more as well as two additional military planes.

The Pentagon this week said the US was stationing extra military elements at Sigonella to protect or evacuate diplomats in Libya if necessary. They will be transferred from an air base in Spain where 500 marines were recently deployed.

Last Mod: 16 Mayıs 2013, 12:07
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