Extra Marine Corps security guards have been deployed to U.S. diplomatic posts in light of the protests that have followed President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a Marine Corps official confirmed on Monday.
Dozens of extra Marine security guards have been dispatched to U.S. embassies in Israel, Turkey and Jordan, NBC News first reported on Monday, adding that both Pentagon and State Department officials are reportedly considering potential plans to deploy additional security forces to at least a half-dozen Middle Eastern countries "with histories of large-scale demonstrations."
Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there triggered weeks of protests in Gaza. Shortly before the Corps' announcement on May 14, Israeli security forces shot and killed dozens of Palestinian protestors in the single bloodiest day since the demonstrations began.
The embassy reinforcements come from the Marine Security Augmentation Unit in Quantico, Virginia, said Corps spokeswoman Capt. Ryan Alvis. All of the roughly 135 Marines in the unit have experience as Marine security guards.
“The exact locations and/or number of Marines will not be released,” Alvis said in an email. “These Marines … are uniquely postured to respond expeditiously to augment embassies at the request of the State Department. While augmenting embassy security, Marines will serve under the authority of the embassy's ambassador or chief of mission.”
President Donald Trump hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday with a letter saying he was "sorry to inform" her that her trip to Brussels, Belgium and Afghanistan would be canceled due to the government shutdown, just one day after Pelosi proposed cancelling the State of the Union address for similar reasons.
Marine Corps drill instructor R. Lee Ermey in his iconic role in 'Full Metal Jacket' (Warner Bros.)
Retired Marine Staff Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, the legendary Marine drill instructor turned iconic Full Metal Jacket actor who died last year, will be formally laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, according to the cemetery's web site.