News / USA

    NATO Sends Helicopters on Libyan Attacks For First Time

    Handout photo provided by Ecpad shows a Gazelle attack helicopter on the deck of the French helicopter carrier "Tonnerre", on June 4, 2011, off the Libyan coast
    Handout photo provided by Ecpad shows a Gazelle attack helicopter on the deck of the French helicopter carrier "Tonnerre", on June 4, 2011, off the Libyan coast

    NATO boosted its bombardment of Libya Saturday, for the first time sending attack helicopters on low-altitude missions against military installations loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

    NATO said British Apache helicopters destroyed a radar site and an armed checkpoint in their first deployment since British Prime Minister David Cameron approved their use a week ago. The Apaches are each equipped with 16 Hellfire missiles that skim low across the landscape toward targets that are pre-set by radar before the missiles are launched. French Tiger helicopters are also being readied for NATO use in Libya.

    The commander of NATO's forces in Libya, Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, said the successful assault "demonstrates the unique capabilities" of the attack helicopters. The use of lower-flying helicopters for attacks could diminish the possibility of civilian casualties, although they also could be vulnerable to strikes by surface-to-air missiles.

    In recent days, rebels trying to oust Gadhafi have been waiting for use of the attack helicopters. One rebel leader in Misrata, Fatih Bashagha, said the fighters are happy about their use, and other rebels said it showed a renewed NATO commitment to assisting them.

    The increase in the military campaign came even as new diplomatic efforts were seen in the effort to get Mr. Gadhafi to give up power.

    China says its ambassador to Qatar has met with the head of Libya's rebel council, the first time China has revealed such contacts. Chinese officials said they stand by their position that the Libyan crisis should be resolved politically and that the country's future must be decided by its people.

    Also, Russia is sending a special presidential representative, Mikhail Margelov, to Benghazi, to meet with the rebels. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Friday that Gadhafi is "increasingly isolated." Juppe also said that France is working with those close to the Libyan leader to persuade him to leave.

    For the last several nights, NATO warplanes have bombed targets in Tripoli, including Mr. Gadhafi's sprawling residential and command compound. Mr. Gadhafi has rarely been seen in public since a NATO airstrike killed one of his sons in April.

    On Friday, United Nations officials criticized Qatar's forcible deportation of a Libyan woman who says she was gang-raped by troops loyal to Gadhafi.  

    Officials with the U.N. refugee agency said Imad al-Obeidi had been awaiting resettlement as a refugee and that UNHCR was in the process of preparing papers for her departure from Qatar to a third country. The officials said al-Obeidi's deportation to Benghazi is against international law.

    State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. is concerned for al-Obeidi's safety and has been working to ensure she finds "appropriate asylum." Toner said U.S. officials have spoken to her in recent days.

    Al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel in March to tell foreign journalists she had been raped by government troops, saying she was targeted because she is from Benghazi. Her rape claim could not be independently verified.

    Libyan authorities have called al-Obeidi a drunk, a prostitute and a thief.

    Western governments say they believe that, through a combination of diplomatic pressure and military action, they are wearing down Mr. Gadhafi's ability to control Libya.

    However, the U.S. role in the conflict has been controversial at home, with the House of Representatives on Friday passing a non-binding resolution calling on President Barack Obama to provide a compelling rationale for the American military involvement in Libya. The White House called the resolution "unnecessary and unhelpful."

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.