The United States has warned its warships in the Middle East region to prepare for a possible attack by al - Qaeda network.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “is reported by CNN to be considering a special deployment of US forces in the Middle East ready for action if a terrorist attack makes it necessary, ” DEBKAfile said on Monday.

“US warships have been ordered to sail into waters opposite Yemen, which is reported to be the source of the terrorist threat which has closed 19 US embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) since Sunday, ” IsraeliDEBKAfilewebsite reported.

“Marine units in southern Italy and Spain were also told to stand ready for intervention, ” according to the report.

The United States closed 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday, warning that al - Qaeda may be planning to conduct attacks by the end of August, however, it has reopened two embassies in the region.

On Sunday, State Department said that the country’s embassies and consulates in 19 cities will remain closed until Saturday. US diplomatic posts will remain closed in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait among other countries.

The department also issued a global travel alert due to a possible terror attack by al - Qaeda.

“Current information suggests that al - Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August, ” the department said.

The intercepted conversations last week between Ayman al - Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of the global terrorist group, and Nasser al - Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen - based al - Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, revealed one of the most serious threats against US and other Western interests since the attacks on September 11,2001, US intelligence officials and lawmakers noted.