News / Africa

Obama: Coalition Military Strikes Answer Libyan People's Calls

US President Barack Obama makes a statement on the ongoing showdown in Libya, during his news conference at the Palacio do Planalto in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011
US President Barack Obama makes a statement on the ongoing showdown in Libya, during his news conference at the Palacio do Planalto in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011

Saying the United States and its allies are "answering the calls of a threatened people", President Obama has spoken in more detail about coalition military action against forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Saying he ordered U.S. armed forces to begin a limited military action, the president said attacks by a broad coalition are aimed at protecting the Libyan people and enforcing the UN Security Council resolution approved last week.

Speaking as ship and submarine-fired Tomahawk cruise missiles hit Libyan military targets, Mr. Obama said Mr. Gadhafi had ignored international calls for a ceasefire. "Despite the hollow words of his government he has ignored that opportunity.  His attacks on his own people have continued, his forces have been on the move, and the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown," he said.

Use of military force is not a choice he made lightly, the president said, and he reiterated that there will be no involvement on the ground by U.S. troops.

But he said the world could not stand idly by while, in his words,  "a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy." "So we must be clear  actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced.  That is the cause of this coalition."  

Earlier, French aircraft began strikes against Libyan government forces, and the Pentagon said some 112 cruise missiles from U.S. and British ships and submarines hit 20 Libyan surface to air missile and communication sites.

Admiral William Gortney is director of the U.S. military's joint staff: "Our mission right now is to shape the battle space in such a way that our partners may take the lead in execution.  As the president has said, we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in Libya," he said.
The admiral would not discuss what he called potential future operations, including whether these would involve targeting of Gadhafi command and control targets.

Aside from France, the coalition includes Britain, Italy and Canada, with expected participation by Arab countries.  The Pentagon says other countries in Europe, and Arab countries involved would make their own announcements.

Earlier, Libyan government troops entered the second largest city of Benghazi in defiance of international demands and ignoring an earlier ceasefire proclamation.

Speaking in Paris earlier Saturday,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. will use all its capabilities to help European and other partners in implementing the no-fly zone in Libyan skies. "The world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed.  The U.S will support our allies and partners as they move to enforce [UN] resolution 19-73.  We are standing with the people of Libya and we will not waiver in our efforts to protect them," she said.

In a letter to President Obama and other world leaders, the Libyan leader said the president would regret what he called "intervention in the internal affairs of Libya", calling it aggression.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid