The United States will transfer 200 Marines and two planes to its base at Sigonella, Sicily to be deployed in Libya in case US diplomats come under attack, Italian officials announced today.
Addressing the Parliament, Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said the transfer is due to with bilateral agreements between Italy and the U.S.
"This is a reinforcement for the security of US personnel in Libya or for possible evacuations," she stated more, adding that 75 marines would arrive first followed by 125 more as well as two additional military planes.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon said the US was stationing extra military elements at Sigonella to protect or evacuate diplomats in Libya if necessary, saying they would come from an air base in Spain where 500 marines were recently deployed.
In 2012, armed insurgents set fire to the main US consular facility in Benghazi and then attacked a nearby CIA annex. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed during that attack.