Two vessels carrying 1,300 U.S. Marines docked Friday at an American base on Crete as part of a military build up around Libya, the U.S. Navy said.
Souda Bay navy base spokesman Paul Farley said the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and the USS Ponce arrived at the base, carrying a total of around 4,000 personnel, including the Marines.
The ships docked in Crete two days after 400 Marines, from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, also arrived in Crete.
The U.S. has said it wants embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down and has not ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.
Late Friday, about 100 supporters of Greece's Communist Party rallied in the Cretan city of Hania, near the base, against the arrival of the U.S. forces.