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 Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid