Critics Question U.S. Role in Libya as Air Attacks Continue
Posted on Mar 21, 2011
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wasn’t thrilled with the U.N. Security Council’s go-ahead to let U.S. and European forces fire on Moammar Gadhafi’s troops in Libya, and he said so Monday. He wasn’t alone in his criticism of what began as a plan to enforce a no-fly zone but by the end of the weekend was looking more like a substantial air war, complete with Tomahawk missiles and B-2 bombers.
Gadhafi, true to form, remained defiant and pointed westward to accuse coalition forces of killing Libyan civilians, and on the domestic front Obama’s critics wondered where the campaign that started with the grandiosely named Operation Odyssey Dawn would end, and what exactly was the point. —KA
The Washington Post:
Air Force B-2 stealth bombers as well as Marine Harrier jets flying from a ship in the Mediterranean followed up on the dozens of Tomahawk cruise-missile strikes that opened the assault on Libya, called Operation Odyssey Dawn. U.S. fighter jets mounted attacks on Libyan soldiers advancing on the rebel-held city of Benghazi as part of a broader mission to protect the besieged opposition forces from being overrun, said a senior U.S. military official.
The strikes, which were carried out by 15 U.S. fighter jets as well as French and British planes, left a smoking graveyard of military vehicles outside Benghazi.
[...] The United States also mounted strikes with satellite-guided bombs on an airfield outside the coastal city of Misurata, where the Libyan air force maintained fighter jets in hardened shelters. Gaddafi continued to keep the Soviet-era fighters on the ground, and the United States detected no radar emissions from any of the air defense sites that it had targeted, military officials said.
AP / Jerome Delay
Tracers from anti-aircraft guns are seen above the hotel where foreign media and government officials are staying in Tripoli, Libya, as explosions rock the city Monday.