Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Libya no-fly zone would require bombing raids: US

Libya dissidents mull calling for air strikes
Benghazi, Libya (AFP) March 1, 2011 - Rebel leaders in Benghazi said on Tuesday they are losing hope that a popular uprising can topple Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and are inclined to ask for foreign air strikes. They gathered for hours at their headquarters in the country's second city to discuss their next move and announced the formation of a military council, but said they would delay any further announcements until Wednesday. Salwa Bughaighi, a member of the coalition of lawyers and activists trying to run Benghazi after Kadhafi loyalists fled, told reporters government forces in the west of the country posed too strong a threat.

"There is no balance between our forces and Kadhafi's," she said. "There is a crisis, conflicting emotions between despair and hope for an international solution." Bughaighi said her coalition would demand a no-fly zone to prevent Kadhafi from reinforcing his strongholds in Tripoli and the coastal city of Sirte. But people who attended the meeting or had knowledge of its discussions said privately late on Tuesday that the coalition was inclining towards seeking foreign air strikes, perhaps under a UN mandate, against strategic targets.

"This is something the organisers agreed on in the meeting," said one source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. Protesters have publicly rejected foreign intervention, but many are now taking stock of the disparity of strength between their forces -- mostly disorganised army defectors -- and Kadhafi's well-armed militias. But the issue remains sensitive. "This has been leaked to people to gauge their reaction," said one organiser, adding that they have heard favourable responses.

"But people don't want another Iraq or Afghanistan," he said. Muftah Quwaidir, the father of a 26-year-old shot dead during the protests, stood outside the meeting with a list of targets he said should be attacked. "We need logistical intervention (against) radar installations, communications (used by the government)," he said. "The United States brought back democracy in Haiti and they intervened in Kosovo," he said. "We have the will to fight Khadafi, but he is stronger than us," he said.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 1, 2011
Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya would first require bombing the north African nation's air defense systems, top US commander General James Mattis warned Tuesday.

The general told a Senate hearing there should be "no illusions" about what would be required if the United States and its allies decided to ban Moamer Khadafi's warplanes from the skies.

"My military opinion is, sir, it would be challenging," Mattis said when asked about the difficulties of imposing a no-fly zone.

"You would have to remove the air defense capability in order to establish the no-fly zone so it - no illusions here, it would be a military operation.

"It wouldn't simply be telling people not to fly airplanes," said Mattis, head of Central Command.

The United States and its allies are weighing possible military action, including a no-fly zone, to stop the embattled Libyan leader from using his forces to crush mounting opposition.

As head of Central Command, which oversees US forces in the Gulf and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mattis would not command operations involving Libya, where hundreds of protesters have been killed in a brutal crackdown.

Although Kadhafi's military is badly outgunned by US and NATO aircraft, the regime has dozens of surface-to-air missiles that could shoot down allied warplanes.

US military doctrine usually requires knocking out an adversary's air defense missiles and radar any time air power is used.

A no-fly zone would likely require large numbers of aircraft, with US bases in southern Italy providing a staging area for operations.

The United States and its partners also might have to ask other countries in the region, including Egypt or Tunisia, for permission to use their airfields, analysts say.

The general's comments came as the American military moved naval and air forces near Libya for possible joint NATO military action, including a warship with hundreds of Marines.

The USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship accompanied by two other naval vessels, was expected to pass through the Suez Canal soon from the Red Sea, two defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The Kearsarge amphibious ready group, with about 800 marines, a fleet of helicopters and medical facilities, could support humanitarian efforts as well as military operations.

US military leaders are preparing a range of options for President Barack Obama and holding discussions with their European counterparts, but the likelihood of military intervention remained unclear, one of the defense officials said.

"I think it (the advice) goes from everything from a show of force to something more involved," the official said, adding: "The president has made no decisions about the use of the military."

Analysts say a symbolic show of force off the coast of Libya in and of itself could increase pressure on Kadhafi but the official said the deployment of naval and air forces near Libya was not an empty gesture.

"There are sailors on ships heading that way, it's real."

An American aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise -- which has fighter jets that could enforce a possible no-fly zone -- could also be called upon for the Libya crisis.

The carrier is currently in the north of the Red Sea near the mouth of Suez Canal, according to the US Navy's website.

The West heaped pressure on Kadhafi on Tuesday after loyalists tried to retake a key city near the capital following a show of defiance by the veteran leader.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Israel PM meets Blair as Quartet pushes peace
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 28, 2011
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, as negotiators sought to coax Israel and the Palestinians into dialogue. Israeli officials confirmed the two had met but refused to give details of what was discussed, as media reports suggested the premier was shying away from sending his chief negotiator to Brussels to meet representatives of the Middle ... read more

Ukraine's Role In European Missile Defense Not Yet Discussed

Israel successfully tests Arrow anti-missile system

Knesset urges $1.4 billion Iron Dome buy

Surface Combat Systems Center Tests Aegis BMD Capabilities

Enhancing The Protection Of Rotary Aircraft Against Missiles

JLENS Program Achieves Critical Milestone

System Integration Test For SM-3 Kinetic Warhead Completed

$7 bn UAE missile deal expected this spring

Fire Scout Completes First Unmanned Test Flights On Littoral Combat Ship

K-MAX Achieves Numerous Firsts During Recent Demo Flights

Northrop Grumman Awarded UAS Common Architecture Working Group Contract

AeroVironment Develops World's First Fully Operational Life-Size Hummingbird-Like Unmanned Aircraft for DARPA

LockMart Wins Role On Navy C4ISR Services Contract

ONR Moves A Modular Space Communications Asset Into Unmanned Aircraft For Marines

Northrop Grumman Next-Gen FBCB2 System Approved For Fielding

Boeing To Demonstrate Aviation Command And Control Subsystem For US Marine Corps

Russian Army To Receive Advanced Weaponry In 2011

LockMart Receives Major Contract Modification For F-22 Raptor Sustainment

Boeing Receives Second Option Of B-52 Engineering Sustainment Contract

A Device Enables The Remote Explosion Of Improvised Land-Mines

Libya arms bans will hit Europeans

Brazil defers jet fighter orders for 2011

EADS 'evaluating' US Air Force tanker award data

Britain may scrap Tornadoes to save $1.6B

Japan, China agree to patch up ties

Mullen Mideast trip shows US 'worry': Iran general

US top military officer visits Gulf amid Arab revolts

Taiwan cardinal eyes China-Vatican dialogue

Scientists Build World's First Anti-Laser

Yale scientists build 'anti-laser'

'Air laser' could find bombs at a distance

ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement