Nato takes over Libya no-fly zone

2011-03-27 20:22

Rome - Nato has begun to "execute the no-fly zone operations" over Libya as well as imposing a naval arms embargo, the Canadian general in charge of operations Charles Bouchard said on Sunday.

"I've been assigned as the Combined Joint Force Commander of the embargo operations. And, we've also begun to successfully execute the no-fly zone operations," Bouchard said in a statement released by Nato.

Lieutenant-General Bouchard, named just two days ago, is based at Nato's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples in southern Italy. The Libya campaign has been codenamed "Operation Unified Protector".

"Along with its non-Nato partners, Nato will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and it will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the people of Libya," the three-star general said.

"Our current mission is to close Libya's airspace to all flights except aid and humanitarian flights," he added.

Bouchard has been appointed to run Nato's Libya operations, enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone and arms embargo.

He will also take command of the entire military campaign to protect civilians from troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi if and when the 28-member alliance takes the reins of the entire Libya campaign from a US-led coalition.

The coalition launched by Britain, France and the United States kicked off its campaign six days ago but Washington, along with several members of the alliance, is anxious to see Nato take the helm as soon as possible.

Reluctance to engage in strikes by Nato's sole Muslim member, Turkey, as well as concerns over the political leadership of the campaign voiced by France, have held up the transfer of command.

  • Proffie - 2011-03-27 20:56

    Here's hoping a non US Commander can keep the fighting spirit going. Thanks to the US for your help and assistance, but back to Afghanistan you go. Good luck General Bouchard.

  • Nico - 2011-03-27 20:58

    Good. Zuma is now quiet. Did he (zuma) really think the world will listen to the twit (zuma)???

  • lakhan7 - 2011-03-27 22:05

    twit ( nico ) NATO is not the world. Zuma was right to intervene , he saved alot of innocent lives- that the US and Britain could have taken if they where left incharge. Im glad NATO has taken control - WISH Gadaffi takes back his country and Government from rebels . but Turkey worries me. ( they seem to be suppling 60000 arms to countries fighting GOVERNMENTS. ) What is Turkeys New role?

      Nico - 2011-03-28 06:32

      lakhan7...I think you are a twit. I never said NATO is the world.Do you read it anywhere that I wrote that??? Don't make your own assumptions. I know what and who is NATO. A while ago twit zuma said the bombing of Afhanistan must stop. Did he really think ANYBODY would listen to him from the big leaders?? Thats what I meant, you fracken twit!!!!

  • john - 2011-03-27 22:42

    What is this country Lybia that is named in the article heading?

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