US hails 'effective' Libya air war

2011-10-07 16:26
Naples - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta hailed NATO's air campaign in Libya Friday as he met US Navy personnel involved in operations at the allied joint force command base in Naples.

Panetta thanked personnel for their role in "what has proven to be a very effective air operation".

He also received a briefing and intelligence update from Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who is leading the air war, and other top brass.

The Pentagon chief on Thursday called the Nato intervention a "remarkable achievement" and hailed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime. He made his comments after talks with fellow allied defence ministers in Brussels.

He said that allies were considering when to halt the bombing campaign and that it would depend in part on the strength of local forces on the ground, who have encircled Gaddafi’s loyalists in two key regime bastions.

Nato defence ministers reached a consensus on the conditions for ending the six-month Libya air war, he said.

Panetta said there were four "guidelines" for deciding on when to halt the campaign.

The first condition was the outcome of the battle for Gaddafi’s birthplace, Sirte. The others were whether Gaddafi forces could still attack civilians; whether Gaddafi himself could command fighters; and whether the new leaders could secure the country.

Gaddafi’s call

Panetta's talks with allied commanders came as fighting raged in Sirte after forces loyal to Gaddafi tried to break a siege. Fighters loyal to Libya's new regime sent reinforcements to Gaddafi’s other major holdout of Bani Walid.

Gaddafi called on Libyans to turn out in their millions to demonstrate against the country's new rulers, the National Transitional Council (NTC), in an audio message broadcast on Syria-based Arrai television.

After knocking out air defence sites in Libya at the outset of the campaign, the US military took on a low-profile role in the Nato operation with British and French aircraft taking the lead.

The United States, which carried out about a quarter of all sorties in the six-month campaign, provided crucial support with airborne refuelling of fighter aircraft, surveillance planes - including unmanned drones - and specialists to draw up bombing targets.

The United States has conducted about 75% of all refuelling missions and 70%-80% of all surveillance and reconnaissance flights in the operation, US officials said.

The American military currently has more than 70 aircraft deployed in the campaign and more than 7 000 personnel have taken part, officials said.

Read more on:    ntc  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa  |  uprisings  |  libya protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to let go of expectations and just see where the wind takes you. You are in the mood to make the most of any...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.