USMC FAST team arrives in Yemen to bolster security at U.S. Embassy
An elite Marine rapid response team has arrived in Yemen’s capital in the wake of violent protests at the U.S. Embassy over a film critical of Islam, the Pentagon said Friday, as a nervous Obama administration watched anti-American demonstrations spread across the Middle East and North Africa.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said the decision to dispatch about 50 Marines to Sanaa was partly in response to the violence and partly as a precautionary measure.
The Marines are members of a platoon from a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, a specially trained and configured group that makes short-notice deployments in response to terrorist threats and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies.
The deployment to Yemen came as that Arab nation’s security forces were firing live rounds and tear gas into the crowd of about 2,000 protesters trying to march to the U.S. embassy.
At the State Department, another senior official said the agency was “working with our personnel and missions overseas and host governments to strengthen security in all locations and to respond effectively where protests have turned violent.” Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.