U.S. adds dozens of Marines to guard embassies in Middle East

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has added dozens of Marines to the security details at embassies in Jordan, Israel and Turkey because of concerns about unrest linked to the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, according to five U.S. defense officials.

The officials say the State Department and the Pentagon are also considering more U.S. military security at embassies in a half dozen other countries in the Middle East with histories of large-scale demonstrations, like Lebanon, Egypt and Pakistan.

Marines are already on the ground and providing additional security to the embassies in Jordan, Israel and Turkey.

The increase at each location is modest — not dozens at any single embassy but not single digits, according to three of the officials.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hugs with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks as U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sits next to him during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
A security man stands next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu and Senior White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump applaud during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
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The State Department issued a new security message for Turkey on May 11, but has not issued any new travel advisories or security messages for Israel or Jordan. A State Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There is no timeline for how long the additional security forces will be in the region but one U.S. defense official said they will be there "until security conditions on the ground improve."

Dozens of protestors have died in demonstrations in Gaza in the lead-up to the official and controversial opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem Monday. The U.S. relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv. It is now the only country with its main embassy rather than a consulate in Jerusalem.

The request for additional Marines was made last week by the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service requested. The Marines were supplied by the Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit (MSAU) in Quantico, Virginia, which has about 120 Marine security guards who can be detailed to increase protection for embassies in the Middle East.

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The Marines throughout history
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The Marines throughout history

The Marine Corps band called 'The Presidents Own' was created in 1798. Here they are in 1893.

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The Marines pose for a photo in Egypt in 1907.

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Marines pose with a German trench mortar in 1918.

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Marines duing WWI circa 1918. 

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Marines run a drill during combat training in Germany, 1918. 

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Grumman FF-2, circa 1930

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Pearl Harbor survivor Technical Sergeant Anglin on December 8th 1941.

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Marines patiently wait to be called for 'chow time' 1943.

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Marines admire a photo of a pin-up girl in 1943 while in Japan. 

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James Wrobel, Designer of VMF-312 Insignia, circa 1943

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Marines arrive on the Japanese island Saipan. 1944 WWII

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Marines stationed in Bougainville.

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Marines wait for letters from home to be distributed. 

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Pictured here : 'Code Talkers'  1943 were a group a Native American Marines would used their native language to relay coded messages. 

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 Marines fire a 155mm Howitzer Iwo Jima.

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A Navy Corpsman administers blood plasma to a Marine. 1944

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Marines are surrounded by bullet shells at  the base of Mount Suribachi.

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Marines raise the American flag in Iwo Jima. 1945

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Marines celebrate the end of WWII. 1945

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Korean War 1950. 

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Female Marines began training in Parris Island, South Carolina, 1949.

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Marines line up to receive items from home. Usually soda, candy and cigarettes. 

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A welcome banner can be seen here in Vietnam welcoming the Marines in Danang in 1965. 

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A Marine rests while he can in Vietnam. 1968. 

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Moment of Peace: Corporal Larry G. Nabb (Brush, Colorado) finds a moment of peace in front of a gaily decorated Christmas tree at Quang Tri Combat Base. Nabb is serving as a truck driver with 3d Marine Division’s Headquarters Battalion, and is one of thousands of Marines celebrating their Christmas in Vietnam 

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Private First Class Ronald Duplantis prepares a 122mm enemy field weapon for shipment.

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Marines carry supplies from a cargo plane to a nearby base. 1969.

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Marines register to vote for the 1969 presidential election.

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David Gurfein sits next to a Christmas tree in Saudi Arabia while serving during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

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Marines prepare to enter Saddam Husseins palace in 2003.

Photo Credit: Lance Corporal Kevin Quihuis Jr./U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corp Assaultman Kirk Dalrymple watches as a statue of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad in this April 9, 2003 file photo. U.S. troops pulled down a 20-foot (six-metre) high statue of President Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad and Iraqis danced on it in contempt for the man who ruled them with an iron grip for 24 years. In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Iraqis earlier took a sledgehammer to the marble plinth under the statue of Saddam. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/Files (IRAQ - Tags: TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY CONFLICT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF PACKAGE '30 YEARS OF REUTERS PICTURES' TO FIND ALL 56 IMAGES SEARCH '30 YEARS'

Marines can be seen fighting in Fallujah in 2004.

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'Darkhorse' Marines lost the most men in Afghanistan over any other Marine unit. They can be seen here in 2010.

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Cpl. Chris Lawler observes a  F/A-18C Hornet with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 approach during Exercise Pitch Black 2016 on Aug. 9, 2016.

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Around 20,000 recruits are trained in Parris Island every year. 

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Sgt. Justin Glenn Burnside motivates a recruit with Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion 

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Marines take their oath at the 2012 U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2012 graduation.

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In a statement, Marine Corps spokesperson Capt. Ryan E. Alvis said, "A number of Marines from the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU) have been requested to augment a number of embassies in light of current events. The exact locations and/or number of Marines will not be released. These Marines, assigned to the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, headquartered at Quantico, Va., are uniquely postured to respond expeditiously to augment embassies at the request of the State Department. All Marines who comprise the MSAU have served as Marine Corps Security Guards in the past and receive specialized training. While augmenting embassy security, Marines will serve under the authority of the embassy's ambassador or chief of mission."

Should a situation require yet more forces, the Marine Corps also has anti-terrorism FAST companies in the region and an expeditionary unit, the 26th MEU, aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.

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