News / Africa

NATO Attacks Intensify Pressure on Gadhafi Forces in Libya

A British RAF Tornado jet participating in the Libya mission (file photo)
A British RAF Tornado jet participating in the Libya mission (file photo)

NATO warplanes and attack helicopters have struck more targets in Libya, ratcheting up pressure against forces loyal to embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi. Rebel fighters have also made small gains in the Nafousa mountains, not far from the capital Tripoli.

The NATO attacks against Gadhafi forces were another small, but incremental sign the embattled Libyan leader’s position is slowly being eroded.

British warplanes struck a military barracks in the capital Tripoli, while Apache helicopters were used against Gadhafi strongholds along the coast. Arab satellite channels say the deployment of attack helicopters has galvanized rebel fighters, while sapping the morale of Gadhafi loyalists.

British military commander John Kingwell stressed the use of the Apache helicopters is providing new capacity to keep Gadhafi forces in check.

"The unique capability of the attack helicopter is its ability with its very advanced fire control system and radar to actually identify and engage targets with huge precision and that is something that fixed wing at the moment is not achieving," he said. "That will enable me, if required, to provide protection to civil population in Libya where the aircraft are flying, that at present we are not."

British Army Air Corps strategist Lieutenant Colonel James  noted the new tactical advantages of the helicopters will seriously impede Colonel Gadhafi’s ability to harm Libyan civilians, which is NATO’s core mission.

"You know it just brings something else to the party," said Etherington. "As I said, we are able to fly lower, slower, different munitions, it is an escalation and I think, you know, we are committed to support and protect the civilians that Gadhafi is persecuting."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC Britain would like Libyan rebel leaders to “give a clearer picture of how they plan to govern,” if Colonel Gadhafi is driven from power.  

Rebel forces in Libya’s western Nafousa mountain range have reportedly gained ground in recent days, capturing three towns and lifting the siege on a fourth.  

Attacks by NATO helicopters on the oil town of Brega on the central coast put added pressure on Gadhafi forces defending the town. Rebel fighters are a stone’s throw away from Brega’s crucial oil and gas installations, as well as the nearby oil port of Ras Lanouf.

Arab satellite channels say some Gadhafi fighters are ready to surrender, but are afraid of possible reprisals. Other Gadhafi loyalists have fled by boat to Tunisia in recent days to avoid surrendering to rebel fighters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More