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In Aftermath of Ambassador's Death, US Warships Headed for Libya

Common Dreams staff

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy an SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter hovers over the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul in the Arabian Sea on May 3, 2012.

Following a promise by President Obama on Wednesday that the United States would “bring to justice” to those responsible for the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi that led to the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other officials, military officials now say that two Navy warships—notably armed with tomahwk missile systems—are now steaming towards the Libyan coast.

In addition, a US Marine counter-terrorism unit will also be deployed to "boost security" in Libya.

CNN reports:

The destroyers are the USS Laboon and the USS McFaul. Both ships are equipped with tomahawk missiles that could be used if a strike was ordered. Tomahawks are satellite-guided cruise missiles that can be programmed to hit specific targets.

"These ships will give the administration flexibility," a senior official said, if the administration orders action against targets in Libya.

The USS Laboon was making a port call in Crete, a few hours from Libya, when it was ordered to reposition. The USS McFaul was outside the Strait of Gibraltar, a few days sail from Libya, and is headed to the Libyan coast.

The US Navy typically keeps up to four Aegis-equipped missile warships ships in the eastern Mediterranean to aid in defending Israel and missile defense for southern Europe. The McFaul and Laboon were part of that deployment.

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