The American Kafir


Libyan Airstrikes March 24-25, 2011

Filed under: European Union, Libya, National Security, Obama — Tags: — - @ 9:05 am

Source Link: Stratfor

Libyan Airstrikes March 24-25, 2011
(click here to enlarge image)

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Air and missile strikes against Libyan targets continued between March 24 and March 25 in a lower intensity, according to witnesses and media reports. Airstrikes were reported against targets in Adjabiya, Tripoli, Jafar, Al Jufrah — a key supply and logistical point where a military compound was struck — and Misurata. Cruise missiles struck Tripoli and the southeastern city of Sahab, while a Libyan Air Force Soko-G Galeb trainer was destroyed on the ground near Misurata, after initially having been reported as an air-to-air kill. The trainer did take off, and may have been an attempt to test the no-fly zone, but it quickly landed and was then engaged on the ground.

Non-U.S. military units have been increasing their deployment over the no-fly zone, with the U.S. Defense Department stating that non-U.S. missions comprise up to 75 percent of combat air patrol missions, a 10 percent increase since March 20. The U.S. Defense Department said that more than 350 aircraft are involved in either enforcing the no-fly-zone or protecting the civilian populace from Gadhafi’s forces. Slightly more than half of those planes are American-manned. The coalition also grew as the United Arab Emirates agreed to send 12 planes to take part in the air campaign.

Libyan Airstrikes March 24-25, 2011
(click here to enlarge image)

Late on March 24, NATO agreed to take over the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya, and the alliance is expected to take command within two to three days. The operation would be led out of the NATO base in Naples, Italy, headed by U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO could eventually take more responsibility, but such a decision has not yet been reached and disagreements within the alliance persist. Turkey, even though its government has approved Turkish participation in the Libyan effort, including the enforcement of the no-fly zone, has opposed airstrikes against Libyan ground forces.

According to STRATFOR sources, some coalition members are attempting to convince Turkey that NATO should enforce both a no-fly zone and a so-called “no-drive zone,” enabling attacks against ground units to continue. NATO members are scheduled to meet March 27 to discuss the matter. U.S., Canadian, Arab, African and European officials are gathering in London the week of March 27 to hash out details of the political oversight of the air campaign.

Representatives from Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi’s regime and the rebels are expected to attend an African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 25 in an effort to reach a compromise and cease-fire.


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