News / Africa

Panetta: Libya Operation Nears End, But No Plan Yet

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a NATO summit in Brussels, Oct 5, 2011
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a NATO summit in Brussels, Oct 5, 2011
Luis Ramirez

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the NATO operation in Libya will likely end soon, but there is no plan in place yet for how and when to stop military action to protect civilians in the north African country.  Panetta attended a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says any decision on when to stop the mission in Libya will depend on whether fighting continues and a threat remains against civilians in the country.

Panetta completed his meetings with NATO allies in Brussels Thursday, saying there is a consensus that the Libya mission could end soon. But he says first certain conditions must exist - especially in light of the fighting that continues between revolutionary forces and troops loyal to former leader Moammar Qadhafi.

“There are some important guidelines to look at in terms of the situation there in Libya," said Panetta. "Number one, what happens in Sirte.  Number two, does the regime maintain the capability to attack civilians?”

Panetta said the decision also depends on whether the new government is able to provide security to civilians.  Ultimately, he said, any decision will come after the commanders running the operation make their recommendations.

NATO's top military commander, U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, said the allies are looking at general conditions on the ground before they suggest drawing down the operation.

“It's not a set series of precise metrics," said Stavridis. "It's rather a sense of the situation.”  

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rassmussen suggests the operation - now in its seven month - could go on for some time, but he believes likely not for long.

“It is clear that the end is in sight," said Rassmussen. "Qadhafi's forces are fighting for a lost cause. The threat to civilians is fading away. The recent positive developments in Libya are irreversible."

NATO has agreed to keep the multi-national operation, known as Unified Protector, going until December.  

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