The eight-man team, consisting of U.S. troops primarily from Delta Force and Green Beret units, was on a counter-terrorism mission in Tripoli at the time, according to The Times.
Two of the team members actually flew to Benghazi to take part in the firefight. The Times reported:
When word of the Benghazi attack surfaced, two members of that military unit volunteered to be dispatched along with five private security contractors on a hastily arranged flight from Tripoli to rescue Americans in danger, the sources said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because the special operations forces’ existence inside Libya was secret.
The two special operations forces arrived in time to engage in the final, ferocious firefight between the terrorists and Americans holed up in the CIA annex near the ill-fated diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the sources added.
A secret ceremony has since been held to award the two special operations forces medals for their valor.
“Yes, we had special forces in Tripoli, and two in fact did volunteer and engaged heroically in the efforts to save Americans,” an anonymous source told The Times. “The others were asked to stay behind to help protect Tripoli in case there was a coordinated attack on our main embassy.
“The remaining [special operations forces] were ready to dispatch the next morning, but by that time American personnel had been evacuated to the airport, local militias had provided additional security and it was determined there was no need for them to be dispatched at that point,” the source added.
The special forces operations’ presence in Tripoli was kept secret because of the sensitivity of their Libyan anti-terror mission, according to The Times.
Watch The Washington Times report.