As anti-American violence continued unabated across Muslim nations, President Barack Obama today warned that the US would not 'tolerate' attacks on its citizens, with his administration mulling sending more specially-trained marines to the region to respond to the growing unrest.
With violence against Americans and those from western nations entering the fourth day in the Middle East, north Africa and south and east Asia, Obama, in a tough message, made it clear that the US will never tolerate efforts to harm Americans and will ensure that those who attack them find no escape from justice.
Obama's blunt message to those indulging in anti-US attacks came as top White House officials blamed the tide of unrest on an inflammatory anti-Islam video and said they anticipated the protests would "continue for some more time."
Concerned over protesters breaching security perimeters around some of the US missions, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland asked governments of the region to deploy enough resources to protect diplomatic personnel and facilities.
Washington is now asking some of the countries where widespread riots have been witnessed in the last three days to ensure that buffer zones, fences, walls, access control, screening doors and other security measures are not breached,
Nuland said the US has told these governments to maintain at all cost the "hard line of security that we have erected." "Under the Vienna Convention, the primary responsibility for the protection of US diplomatic personnel and facilities abroad rests with the government of those countries."
The comments on maintaining security rings around the US missions came as Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington is repositioning military forces in as many as 17 to 18 places in the Muslim world to better respond to the unrest.
"We have to be prepared in the event that these demonstrations get out of control," Panetta told the Foreign Policy magazine.
Though Panetta did not elaborate, officials said Washington was considering sending more specially-trained marines to the worst-affected US embassy in Sudan.
If approved, this deployment would follow the ramped up marine deployment in Libya and Yemen.
Obama, meanwhile, sent his tough message in his weekly address to the nation, which came a day after he received bodies of four Americans killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, including that of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
"As we mourn their loss, we must also send a clear and resolute message to the world: those who