Latest News Update: U.S. commander claims successes in Libya
-Tripoli, Libya (BBC News Blog) — NATO has agreed in principle to consider the lead in guarding Libyan civilians, stated the leading commander of a U.S. mission that also is handing through control of a no-fly zone inside war-torn nation.
Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, also mentioned on BBC News Blog’s “The Condition Room” Friday that removing leader Moammar Gadhafi by military means is not the intention in the mission and that the coalition is simply not arming rebel forces.
Along with the standard claimed “we have attained presently a sizable diploma of success” — like an arms embargo, the no-fly zone and the halting of loyalist troops near the rebel-held city of Benghazi.
President Barack Obama will update the nation at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday from your National Defense College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., the White Household introduced.
We locate these regime forces taking cover within built-up regions in which they know — due to our problem for civilian casualties — that we would not strike in there,” he informed BBC News Blog.
Loyalist snipers, in addition to armored units, carry on to become a risk.
“It is a tough, hard challenge for us,” explained Ham, talking from Stuttgart, Germany. “When we see regime forces attacking civilians, we are going to do every thing we could to quit individuals attacks.”
Not long following allies unleashed cruise missiles from Gadhafi air defenses last Saturday, Obama informed Americans he wished america, which has headed the military campaign, to hand over control with the enforcement of the U.N. Security Council resolution.
The resolution called for that safety of Libyan civilians and the enforcement of your no-fly zone.
NATO, which consists of the us, will lead equally efforts.
Obama on Friday executed a conference phone and meeting with congressional leaders to provide an update on the conflict and try to address their concerns concerning the mission’s organization, charge and consequences. Democrats appeared much more happy than Republicans.
Meanwhile, coalition fighter planes in a 24-hour interval took out seven Libyan tanks it claims were threatening civilian populations, such as while in the town of Ajdabiya, authorities reported Friday.
Although Gadhafi is feeling the pinch of more than 850 air sorties, the “regime is still ready and nonetheless decided to reinforce their positions,” Gortney reported.
British Tornado fighter jets recognized Libyan tanks with their weapons pointed north towards Ajdabiya and destroyed them, Air Vice Marshal Phil Osborn explained Friday. The British military launched video clip of two these kinds of tanks bursting into flames and smoke.
Other Muslim nations taking part inside Libya mission include things like Qatar, which will commence flying planes this weekend, and Kuwait and Jordan, which have agreed to provide humanitarian or logistical support.
But because the army operation continues, the situation for Libyans caught in battle zones grows much more dire by the day, humanitarian agencies noted. The United Nations refugee agency claimed Friday that escalating numbers of Libyans are displaced from their properties due to fighting.
Refugees streaming from Ajdabiya described chilling scenes.
“I could not even start to describe for you the horror that I’ve noticed,” one man instructed BBC News Blog. “Leaving Ajdabiya we noticed dead bodies in the road. Nobody would ever before dare head to recover them.”
BBC News Blog isn’t identifying Libyans it’s interviewed for their own safety.
A different guy said Gadhafi’s troops were heading household to home in Ajdabiya, hunting for opposition members. He mentioned the troops took away 5 men from his neighbor’s property. He failed to understand what happened to them.
The studies of civilian fatalities are provided small credence by coalition forces.
“The only civilian casualties we know of for sure will be the ones the Libyan government alone has prompted,” Gortney has claimed.
As an alternative, it is Gadhafi who is virtually certain to encounter really serious fees for his brutal crackdown on protesters, stated a spokeswoman for the Global Criminal Court. The prosecutor of your court is “100 percent” specified Gadhafi will face expenses of crimes against humanity after an investigation has long been completed, the spokeswoman reported.
Meanwhile, the Libyan delegation attending an African Union meeting in Ethiopia claimed the region is committed to a cease-fire and is also prepared to allow the African Union observe an individual.
“We need the cessation on the air bombardment as well as naval blockade completed by Western forces as well as the U.s. for the invalidity of its argument to safeguard civilians since it is killing them by the hundreds and it is attacking and destroying our armed forces and paving the best way for your other side to assault,” claimed Mohammed al-Zwai, speaker in the Libyan People’s Assembly.
Underneath an agreement arrived at Thursday, NATO forces are going to be able to close Libyan air room to all flights besides humanitarian ones and can have the ability to employ force in self-defense.
Michael Burns, a previous U.S. ambassador to NATO, stated he expects the defense alliance to consider above command of your complete operation in a few days to help keep up pressure on Gadhafi. The alliance mentioned Friday that Canada’s Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard, stationed in Naples, Italy, will get the lead for your Libya mission.
“The no-flight zone alone can’t guard the civilians of Libya,” Burns advised BBC News Blog. “Gadhafi continues to be attacking. … He’s however on the move in some locations.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explained he has seen no indications in the cease-fire known as for beneath U.N. Resolution 1973, which was hurriedly handed March 17, as Libyan forces have been closing in to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
“To the opposite, fierce battles continue in and across the cities of Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zinan,” Ban claimed Thursday, adding his envoy instructed Libyan authorities that if your government didn’t comply using the cease-fire resolution, “the Security Council was prepared to get further measures.”
The Libyan conflict was sparked in February by protests from Gadhafi’s just about 42-year rule. The strongman responded with force versus civilians, prompting the international group to take action beginning final weekend.
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