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Itar-Tass: Air force operation in Libya prepared by individual countries

19. March 2011. | 15:13

Source: Itar-Tass

An international air force operation against Libya is being prepared by individual countries. NATO will only help them with military planning and will coordinate their actions, a high-ranking military expert in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

An international air force operation against Libya is being prepared by individual countries. NATO will only help them with military planning and will coordinate their actions, a high-ranking military expert in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

“Most countries share the opinion of France that an armed intervention of NATO in the Arab world would be very much undesirable. An ability to take action, using the forces of the leading European countries and the United States, with the support of some Arab countries, is coming to the forefront today. This model will actively use NATO’s potential in military planning and the coordination of actions of participants in the coalition, but officially the operation will be conducted under the command of Paris or London, and not of Brussels (the NATO Headquarters or Mons (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe – SHAPE),” the source said.

At the same time, forecasting a possibility of “the ground component part” of the operation, if air strikes at Libya do not make Gaddafi resign, the source did not rule out a situation, in which NATO would have to take the operation under its control.

He stressed that a possibility of a ground operation was being considered, but it is still regarded as highly undesirable for all the NATO countries.

Gaddafi: U.N. SC's Resolution is unacceptable. His troops enter Benghazi

Muammar al-Gaddafi, leader of Libyan Jamahiriya, sent messages to the leaders of the United States, Britain and France, in which he denounced “the lawless interference” in the domestic affairs of his country under the aegis of the U.N. Security Council.

Ibrahim Moussa, a representative of the foreign political agency of Libya, read to journalists at a press conference in Tripoli “a message of the leader of the Libyan revolution to President Barack Obama.” Gaddafi stressed in the message that Resolution No. 1973 was unacceptable and said he was not waging a war against his own people, but was defending Libya against militants of Al Qaeda. “You may come and see it for yourselves,” he stated in conclusion.

The Libyan leader wrote in the letter that the world powers had no right to interfere in Libya’s affairs. He promised that if the Western countries interfered in the Libyan conflict, they would regret it.

Muammar al-Gaddafi’s troops have entered Benghazi after massive shelling and air strikes.

According to reports reaching here, fierce fighting is going on in the eastern outskirts of the city. By all appearances, resistance of the insurgents was broken down in the western outskirts. The insurgents retreated deep into the city and are getting prepared to start fighting in its streets. Representatives of the Transitional National Council confirmed the report about the breakthrough of the defences.

Ali al-Isawi, head of the foreign political department of the Transitional National Council, urged the U.N. Security Council “to hurry up with the fulfilment of Resolution No. 1973”. “Gaddafi must be forced to stop fire immediately, in order to save the civilian population,” he stressed.

The Libyan authorities have refuted reports saying that Muammar al-Gaddafi’s troops are attacking the city of Benghazi, which is the stronghold of the insurgents.

“No attacks have been staged on Benghazi. We observe the condition on ceasefire, and we urge international observers to come to our country,” said government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, according to reports reaching here. According to his information, “the insurgents are attacking villages and cities, wishing to provoke an international intervention.”

Musa Kusa, secretary of the Chief People’s committee (ministry) for External Relations and International Cooperation of Jamahiriya, reported on Friday the immediate ceasefire and the end of all hostilities. He promised that the authorities would act in accordance with the resolution, adopted by the U.N. Security Council.


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