In the aftermath of the violence in Israel over the moving of the United States embassy to Jerusalem, the Pentagon is ordering the Marines to augment and bolster security at all U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Africa.
The Marines have already begun adding security forces to their normal Embassy protective personnel because of the Jerusalem situation as well as the U.S. pullout from the Iran nuclear deal.
The Defense Department is not disclosing the number of Marines being deployed or their locations although it’s been known for weeks that security has been increased at US diplomatic installations in Israel including the new embassy in Jerusalem.
“DOD takes necessary steps to mitigate threats to U.S. personnel, embassies and consulates around the world. At the request of the Department of State, and in coordination with host nations, the Department of Defense has deployed additional Marine Security Guards to several U.S. embassies for the purpose of temporarily augmenting security,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich told CNN.
Escalating violence in the Gaza strip area has also led to increased concern it could spark demonstrations in other locations.
The Marines are being sent from a unit called the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation unit which has advanced training beyond the routine Marine Corps embassy guard who protect installations inside their fence perimeter.
The additional Marines “are uniquely postured to respond expeditiously,” the Marine Corps statement said.
US embassies throughout the Middle East and Muslim countries are on alert because of three key events: the US embassy opening in Jerusalem on Monday, the beginning of Ramadan and the Nakba anniversary for Palestinians.
Palestinians mark what they call the “Nakba” or Catastrophe, in memory of the more than 700,000 Palestinians who were either driven from, or fled, their homes during the Arab-Israeli war that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
This wasn’t unexpected, the Pentagon and the Marine Corps have been anticipating this development for several weeks and the plans have been in place to augment security for US personnel and property.
As of today, there is no specific terror threat against U.S. interests but rather just a heightened sense of preparedness that will prevent any untold incidents happening.
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Photo courtesy US Marine Corps