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.”