Washington: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said the Pentagon was sending military personnel to Libya to help reopen the American embassy there.

In a Pentagon briefing, Panetta said the Defence Department sent four individuals to Libya about a week ago, and has sent in 12 more in recent days. He said the military personnel were sent to help reopen the embassy.

Details about the military personnel were, however, not disclosed.

Panetta stressed the US will not send ground forces to Libya.

Obama also announced at the UN on Tuesday that the US embassy would be reopened in the Libyan capital Tripoli and the American ambassador would be returning to that country soon.