War & Peace
U.S. Fires Over 100 Cruise Missiles at Libyan Targets
US military forces have fired a massive barrage of cruise missiles at targets in Libya in support of the UN-authorized no-fly zone. The missiles, launched from American and British warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted Libyan air defense capabilities that could threaten allied aircraft flying missions enforcing the no-fly zone.
The American action, named Operation Odyssey Dawn, complements military strikes by French and British warplanes against Libyan forces loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
US President Barack Obama, speaking from Brazil, said of the allied operation: “our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear. The people of Libya must be protected, and in the absence of the immediate end of violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act and act with urgency.”
Vice Admiral William Gortney of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that the missile strikes are “the first phase of what will likely be a multi-phase military operation designed to enforce the UN resolution and deny the Libyan regime the ability to use force against its own people.” Gortney said the two main objectives of Operation Odyssey Dawn were to “prevent further attacks by regime forces on Libyan citizens and opposition ground forces, especially in and around Benghazi,” and “to degrade the regime’s ability to resist the no-fly zone we are implementing under that UN resolution.” “To that end, this afternoon over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from both US and British ships and subs struck more than 20 integrated air defense systems.”
Gortney called the attack “carefully coordinated” and said that although the operation is currently under American control, “we anticipate the eventual transition of leadership to a coalition commander in the coming days.”
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