The Pentagon is moving two warships to the Libyan coast following the the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador and three others.
According to the Associated Press, the destroyer, the USS Laboon, is already off the coast and the USS McFaul is en route and should be there within days.
The ships carry Tomahawk cruise missiles and do not have a specific mission, according to officials briefing the AP.
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Pentagon spokesman George Little said: "Without commenting on specific ship movements, the United States military regularly takes precautionary steps when potential contingencies might arise in a given situation. That's not only logical in certain circumstances, it's the prudent thing to do."
There have been four destroyers in the Mediterranean for some time. These moves will increase that to five.
Also on Wednesday, the US sent an elite group of 50 Marines to Libya as American officials continue to investigate whether the violence was a planned terrorist attack planned on the anniversary of 9/11.