US troops and ships arrive in Crete with eye on Libya

American troops and ships have begun arriving in Souda Bay, Crete, as calls grow to establish a ?no-fly zone? over Libya, where Colonel Moammar Gadhafi?s regime is trying to push back rebels who have taken control of many parts of the North African country.

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge docked at the US naval base in northwestern Crete on Friday morning. Some 400 US Marines from the 2nd Marine Expdetionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina arrived at Souda Bay earlier in the week.

Base spokesman Paul Farley told the Associated Press that the troops have been deployed ?as part of the contingency planning to provide the president [Barack Obama] flexibility on the full range of options regarding Libya.?

Washington has so far been ambivalent on the idea of using military force to establish a ?no-fly zone? but Britain and France backed the idea on Friday.

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