(NEW YORK) — With U.S. missions in potential hot spots on high alert after the attacks on the embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, Libya, President Obama ordered the deployment Wednesday of two destroyers to the region.
The USS Laboon is already off the coast of Libya while the USS McFaul should arrive in the next few days.
Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens became the first American envoy killed in the past 33 years along with three other countrymen after terrorists stormed the poorly-fortified consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday.
While the war ships don’t have a specific assignment, they’re expected to be at the beck and call of the U.S. if needed to protect national interests in Libya and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, an elite squad of 50 Marines is also headed to Tripoli, Libya, to secure American facilities.
There are also reports that the U.S. might fly unmanned drones over eastern Libya to search for jihadist camps where the consulate attackers might be hiding out. These aircraft were used in 2011 when a no-fly zone was established over Libya during the revolt against then-dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Mohammed Tawfeeq, Joe Sterling and Susanna Capelouto, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN