News / USA

US Says International Forces Control Skies Over Libya

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (File Photo)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (File Photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

America’s top military commander says a United Nations-authorized no-fly zone over Libya has effectively been achieved. 

The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, is calling the initial phase of a multi-national effort to take control of Libyan airspace a success. Mullen says Libyan command-and-control centers and air defense installations have been struck, and that leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces effectively are grounded.

"We have had a very significant impact very early in establishing this no-fly zone and supporting the mission, which is to protect civilians and also to be able to provide corridors and create the conditions for humanitarian relief," he said. "So I would say the no-fly zone, which we were tasked to put in place, is actually in place."

Speaking on the Fox News Sunday television program, Mullen stressed that the current U.S. objective in Libya is well-defined and limited.

"The focus of the United Nations Security Council resolution was really [the rebel stronghold of] Benghazi, specifically, and to protect civilians," he said. "And we have done that, or we have started to do that. This is not about going after Gadhafi himself or attacking him at this particular point in time."

Mullen added that it is impossible to know right now what the ultimate outcome in Libya will be.

Some U.S. legislators believe the United States should have intervened sooner in Libya, and should now focus on ending Mr. Gadhafi’s rule. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also appeared on Fox News Sunday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. take part in a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo)
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. take part in a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington (File Photo)
"This is a great opportunity to replace a tyrannical dictator who is not a legitimate leader and who is an international crook," said Graham. "And we should seize the moment and talk about replacing him, not talk about how limited we [U.S. objectives] will be."

But Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island says the United States should not act unilaterally beyond the U.N.-authorized mission. He responded this way when asked if he favors U.S. ground forces in Libya:

"Not United States forces," said Reed. "I think the president [Barack Obama] has rightly ruled that out. But there are many forces that are capable of helping."

Many doubt Moammar Gadhafi will give up power unless he is forcibly removed. Ali Suleiman Aujali has served as Libya’s ambassador in Washington, but now backs anti-Gadhafi rebels in his home country. He spoke on ABC’s This Week program.

"There is one thing on the mind of Gadhafi: that he will not step down," he said. "He will fight. He has no other choice. He will never give up"

With air attacks against rebels a thing of the past, Aujali predicts anti-Gadhafi forces will regroup and begin a march towards the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where he predicts they will mount a siege to end the leader’s rule.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid