Adding to speculation about imminent US intervention in Libya, the Pentagon has confirmed that 1,000 Marines on board the USS Bataan have been moved to the coast of Libya, not far from Tripoli.
The move follows a travel warning from the State Department earlier this week, urging all US citizens to “depart immediately” from Libya, warning they may be targeted for kidnapping or violent attacks.
The US began deploying Marines to Sicily two weeks ago in anticipation of the flare up, and days later Gen. Khalifa Hifter, a long-time US ally, launched a coup attempt against parliament.
Gen. Hifter’s attempted takeover did not go smoothly, and Islamist militias loyal to parliament have also moved to Tripoli, where a civil war seems set to break out at any moment.
The State Department has yet to make a decision on evacuating the US Embassy, but the move by the Marines suggests such an announcement could be imminent, as that would presumably be the pretext for deploying ground troops to the capital.