Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV ,released May 11, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from Libyan TV ,released May 11, 2011

A NATO spokesman says the alliance's air campaign over Libya has effectively forced leader Moammar Gadhafi into hiding.

Wing Commander Mike Bracken says airstrikes targeting pro-Gadhafi forces in Tripoli have hampered Gadhafi's ability to control his forces.

Bracken commented Friday after NATO said it had launched a series of airstrikes that targeted warships used by pro-government forces.   NATO said it hit vessels that were in the ports of Sirte, al-Khums and the capital, Tripoli.  

An alliance official, Libyan operations Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Russell Harding, said NATO had "no choice but to take decisive action" after pro-Gadhafi forces carried out mining operations and escalated their use of maritime force.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to support U.S. efforts in Libya, which are part the NATO-led multi-national coalition.  The president sent a letter to lawmakers on Friday, the 60-day deadline to get congressional approval for the use of war powers.  However, he maintained the U.S. has had a limited role in the NATO mission in Libya.

Separately, U.S. military officials said they have sent the Libyan rebels more than 120,000 military food rations that meet Muslim dietary standards and will deliver more aid in the days to come.

The meals were sent to the rebel stronghold Benghazi. The U.S. Defense Department said it is also sending non-lethal aid such as sandbags, uniforms, tents and protective vests.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.