A dozen MC-130H, HC-130N, HC-130P and AC-130U military transport planes and gunships crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 13 heading eastbound. These aircraft are typically used for a variety of special tasks, including in support for special operations forces. The last known stop for the aircraft was Souda Bay, Crete.
12 U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets arrived in two waves at Moron air base in Spain on Sept. 24.
100 French special operations troops have been deployed in the sub-Saharan region to counteract militants in northern Mali. Le Figaro reported that maritime patrol aircraft that can be used to collect intelligence will be deployed to the region and that commandos of the French navy will reinforce the French special operations troops.
Italian journalist Guido Olimpio reported in September that U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles are currently tracking militants in Cyrenaica and that U.S. special operations forces were planning to carry out intelligence operations that could be in preparation for surgical strikes in North Africa, including in Libya and in Mali.
All of these could be unconnected, and part of routine deployments for a variety of ongoing military operations.
Or, they could be part of a start of a push into Mali against the Tuareg/Al-Qaeda secession there.
Or it could be that the US is planning a large strike against Al-Qaeda affiliated militants in the region as a response to the assassination of the US Ambassador to Libya.
Or something else entirely (Syria?).