News / Middle East

NATO to Take Control of Libyan 'No-Fly' Zone

A French Rafale fighter jet approaches an airborne Boeing C-135 refueling tanker aircraft from the Istres military air base during a refueling operation above the Mediterranean Sea, Mar 25 2011
A French Rafale fighter jet approaches an airborne Boeing C-135 refueling tanker aircraft from the Istres military air base during a refueling operation above the Mediterranean Sea, Mar 25 2011

The handover of the no-fly mission to NATO could come as early as this weekend. But the decision does not allow for a quick exit by the alliance from the costly military operation.

NATO Secretary-General Andres Foch Rasmussen explained Friday that some operations will remain under the aegis of the Western coalition, as debate continues to expand NATO's role.

"At this moment there will still be a coalition operation and a NATO operation, but we are considering whether NATO should take on that broader responsibility in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution, but that decision has not been made yet," Rasmussen said.

Several NATO members, including Turkey, had resisted involvement in ground attacks.  

The U.S. initially agreed to lead enforcement of the UN resolution, but made clear it wanted only a limited role and would hand over responsibility as soon as possible.

The allies' efforts to recruit Arab countries to avoid an all-Western military presence received a boost on Thursday as the United Arab Emirates agreed to send 12 planes to help enforce the no-fly zone.

Qatar has already contributed two fighters and two military transport planes to the coalition and is expected to begin flying patrols over Libya this weekend.

Coalition warplanes struck numerous targets belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during the past 24 hours. Eyewitnesses say pro-Gadhafi forces were hit in the capital Tripoli, the besieged Western town of Misrata and in Ajdabiya in the east of the country.

As fighting continued, Admiral Edouard Guillaud told France Info radio that he doubted that the situation would be resolved quickly.

"I doubt it will take a few days," Guillaud said. "I think it's more likely a matter of weeks. I hope it will not be a matter of months."

Guillaud was confident, however, that Libyan airspace was under control:

"An old Libyan plane in the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces, which had just taken off from Misrata in order to bomb Misrata, was destroyed by a French Rafale as it landed in Misrata," said Guillaud.

He said that action was good proof of the reactivity of the coalition. He added that they have also destroyed munitions depots, maintenance facilities and also the command center, and an historic base for the Libyan regime.

Libyan government TV continued to broadcast images of pro-Gadhafi supporters in the capital Tripoli, chanting slogans in favor of the embattled Libyan leader. The TV also broadcast images of a funeral Thursday for victims it alleged were killed by coalition forces. An opposition leader, however, told al Arabiya TV that the charges were "government propaganda."

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid