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U.S. Britain launch first missiles against Gadhafi forces


bashar

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Tripoli, Libya (CNN) --

French, British and American military forces made good Saturday on international warnings to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, using fighter jets and cruise missiles to hammer military positions in the first phase of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.

More than 110 Tomahawk missiles fired from American and British ships and submarines hit about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets, U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney said at a Pentagon briefing.

The U.S. will conduct a damage assessment of the sites, which include SA-5 missiles and communications facilities.

The salvo, in an operation dubbed "Odyssey Dawn," was meant "to deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people," said Gortney, who declined to detail future operations.

Earlier, French fighter jets deployed over Libya fired at a military vehicle Saturday, the country's first strike against Gadhafi's military forces, which earlier attacked the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Prime Minister David Cameron said late Saturday that British forces also are in action over Libya. "What we are doing is necessary, it is legal and it is right," he said. "I believe we should not stand aside while this dictator murders his own people."

While there were no U.S. warplanes flying over Libya late Saturday, the allies were preparing for enforcement of a no-fly zone, Gortney said.

A Libyan government spokesman said Saturday that instead of sending international observers to witness a cease-fire, the coalition of international allies chose military aggression.

Air attacks on several locations in Tripoli and Misrata have caused "real harm" to civilians, the spokesman said.

"I am very sorry and saddened that my country is facing a barbaric and armed attack," he said, adding that "this aggression will not weaken our spirits."

Shortly after the first missile attacks, U.S. President Barack Obama informed the American people of the efforts by a "broad coalition."

"The use of force is not our first choice," the president said from Brasilia, Brazil. "It is not a choice I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his own people that there will be no mercy."

Obama reiterated that the Pentagon has no plans to deploy ground forces in Libya.

Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in Libya to only last for a few days, according to a senior administration official.

"In terms of the heavy kinetic portion of this military action, the president envisions it as lasting days, not weeks," the senior official said. "After that we'll take more of a supporting role."

Coalition partners say Gadhafi has failed to adhere to a United Nations resolution that imposed the no-fly zone and ordered him to stop attacks on civilians.

"He's clearly been on the offensive," a senior U.S. military official said of Gadhafi. "He said that he was going to do a cease-fire and he continued to move his forces into Benghazi."

A Libyan army spokesman said on state TV that "the crusader army has bombed fuel tanks."

The international show of force is much welcomed by besieged rebel forces who have called for backup to help them stave off a government offensive against their positions in Benghazi and other rebel-held enclaves.

An opposition spokesman in Benghazi said Gadhafi forces that assaulted the city earlier Saturday are now positioned outside the town. However, the forces are preparing for more attacks.

Earlier Saturday, Gadhafi issued defiant messages to international powers.

"I have all the Libyan people with me and I'm prepared to die. And they are prepared to die for me. Men, women and even children," Gadhafi said in a letter addressed to Obama and read to reporters by a government spokesman in Tripoli.

Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Gortney used the term "unique capabilities" to describe the U.S. part of the coalition effort. Officials have said American military forces are meant to augment Arab, European and other Western troops -- but not take a lead role.

The French Defense Ministry said its attack aircraft being used to take out tanks and artillery have deemed Benghazi and the surrounding area an "exclusion zone."

The French are using surveillance aircraft and two frigates in the operation to protect civilians. The aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle will soon depart Toulon, France.

"Our air force will oppose any aggression by Colonel Gadhafi against the population of Benghazi," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking after an international, top-level meeting in Paris over the Libyan crisis.

"As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town," he said, calling the intervention a "grave decision."

Canada will be one of four principal partners helping to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. Six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are en route to an Italian base in Sicily and the HMCS Charlottetown will be in position to help with the naval blockade against Libya.

"America has unique capabilities, and we will bring them to bear to help our European and Canadian allies and Arab partners to stop further violence against civilians including through the effective implementation of a no-fly zone," Clinton said.

Sarkozy said Gadhafi still has time to stop its activities. As of Friday, France, Britain, the United States and Arab League nations passed along a warning for Gadhafi to stop his operations immediately.

But "Gadhafi has totally ignored the warning" and "in the last few hours his forces have stepped up their deadly offenses," Sarkozy said.

The international coalition meeting in Paris -- which included Western and Arab partners -- focused on how to take on a Libyan government bent on destroying the fledgling opposition movement under the U.N. resolution authorizing force to protect civilians against the Gadhafi government.

Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said the European Union is ready to give a "new Libya" economic help and aid in building new institutions.

In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office confirmed to CNN that Berlusconi has proposed the use of the NATO base in southern Italy as a command center for allied action in Libya.

After Gadhafi forces earlier Saturday assaulted Benghazi, the opposition said the military repositioned itself far outside the city.

Earlier Saturday, incoming artillery rounds landed inside the city, and pro-Gadhafi tanks rolled into the town firing rounds, witnesses said. Plumes of smoke rose in Benghazi as civilians said buildings came under small arms fire. Many fled their homes in fear of a full-blown assault there.

A flaming fighter jet plummeted from the sky, nose-diving to the ground. Khaled el-Sayeh, the opposition military spokesman, said the plane was an old MiG-23 that belonged to the rebels.

As night fell over Benghazi on Saturday, the city became quiet and calm. While plumes of smoke could be spotted, the pro-Gadhafi tanks seen earlier were not in sight. El-Sayeh told CNN that "tens" have been killed in Benghazi on Saturday and opposition forces found 13 men clad in Libyan military uniforms bound and executed in a building that had been used by pro-Gadhafi forces to launch artillery assaults.

He said Gadhafi forces have withdrawn from the city and that they are now positioned 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Benghazi on the road east to Ajdabiya. CNN could not independently verify those details.

In western Libya, pro-Gadhafi forces subjected the city of Misrata to heavy shelling, an opposition member said.

In Tripoli, Gadhafi's supporters took to the streets.

Libyan state TV now showed images of pro-Gadhafi demonstrations, and broadcast pictures of fireworks by pro-Gadhafi demonstrators over the Libyan leader's military compound in Tripoli. On the streets in Tripoli, people were waving green Libyan flags and singing pro-Gadhafi songs.

Fighting has raged in Libya over the last day despite the government's announcement of an "immediate" cease-fire on Friday.

The declaration -- which came hours after the U.N. Security Council resolution authorized the use of force, including the no-fly zone -- was seen by rebels as simply a move to buy itself time.

Gadhafi -- in a separate letter addressed to Sarkozy, Cameron and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- called the U.N. moves "invalid" because the resolution does not permit intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.

"Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans," said the letter, also read by the spokesman. "You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs.

"It is not your country. We could never and would never fire one bullet against our people," the letter said.

Violence has raged in Libya following protests calling for democracy and freedom and demanding an end to Gadhafi's almost 42-year-long rule. It's a conflict spurred by anti-government protest and resulting regime violence against civilians -- which the U.N. resolution cites as "outrageous" and Sarkozy calls "murderous madness."

But Gadhafi defended his actions in his note to Obama. He said his opponents are from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group's North African wing, and asked Obama what he would do if such an armed movement controlled American cities.

"Tell me, how would you behave so I could follow your example?"

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Gaddafi declares the whole Mediterranean sea area as a military operations , and open the weapons stores for all civilian to be armed

i hope this will end the Libyan Situation somehow , :unsure:

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karachidude

US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

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US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

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About d*mn time somebody acts :bag:

its too late. unless egypt invades to help in the ground war this is pointless. the same mistake bush one didn after the first gulf war and iraq had a little civil war.

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good point!

if Egypt, out of whole region countries would help neighbor- would be most sensible outcome! Shame, that is such a newly formating country itself... could bring to chaos them-self too! Seriously , I am surprised and getting annoyed with none significant help from neighbors... :think:

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"It is not your country. We could never and would never fire one bullet against our people," the letter said.

ironic, lie

this that cause people lost their faith..

how many people kill by him!!

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You know this man escaped an air strike in the past right? lol he is one lucky bastard, his daughter died though but somehow he escaped the air strike. It was in 1986 I think. Congressman Charlie Wilson had a small part to play when he allied American forces with Afghanistan to fight off the Russians. Hopefully this time somebody aims correctly. :ph34r:

With any luck somebody will deal with that bastard from Zimbabwe as well, though they seem to remain on the down low and you never hear about them in the news; could be because their country has little economic value but still.

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karachidude

US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

yeh helping muslims by killing them in masses is becoming a national sport in the US,what goes around comes around though..its funny how ur shamelessly telling me i have no arguments,when most readers of the board understand english :lol:

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US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

yeh helping muslims by killing them in masses is becoming a national sport in the US,what goes around comes around though..its funny how ur shamelessly telling me i have no arguments,when most readers of the board understand english :lol:

Your argument is, that UN is killing Muslims?

or is it, that due to your believe of US being evil, it is better to let Gadafi to continue killing own citizens?

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karachidude

US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

yeh helping muslims by killing them in masses is becoming a national sport in the US,what goes around comes around though..its funny how ur shamelessly telling me i have no arguments,when most readers of the board understand english :lol:

Your argument is, that UN is killing Muslims?

or is it, that due to your believe of US being evil, it is better to let Gadafi to continue killing own citizens?

yes precisely..now present ur arguments against it

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US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

yeh helping muslims by killing them in masses is becoming a national sport in the US,what goes around comes around though..its funny how ur shamelessly telling me i have no arguments,when most readers of the board understand english :lol:

Your argument is, that UN is killing Muslims?

or is it, that due to your believe of US being evil, it is better to let Gadafi to continue killing own citizens?

yes precisely..now present ur arguments against it

If as nearly happened US would not stepped in- thousands of Libyans would have been killed by dictator.

UN security council (as late), but issued demands to stop killings.

what is it to argument ?

Because of your personal believe- you'd be happy on killings to continue? it appears, that you don't wish well to Libyan people, but majority of them is same religion as you are and name under you say it is not right to get involved?.

Honestly, I don't see no logic in none of your statement or part off. What, how would your ideal resolution would have happened if not US helping out?

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karachidude

US liberating another oil rich muslim country :lol:

Everyone have aright to his views, but without any argumentation you are just flaming against help for Muslim country people... :huh:

yeh helping muslims by killing them in masses is becoming a national sport in the US,what goes around comes around though..its funny how ur shamelessly telling me i have no arguments,when most readers of the board understand english :lol:

Your argument is, that UN is killing Muslims?

or is it, that due to your believe of US being evil, it is better to let Gadafi to continue killing own citizens?

yes precisely..now present ur arguments against it

If as nearly happened US would not stepped in- thousands of Libyans would have been killed by dictator.

UN security council (as late), but issued demands to stop killings.

what is it to argument ?

Because of your personal believe- you'd be happy on killings to continue? it appears, that you don't wish well to Libyan people, but majority of them is same religion as you are and name under you say it is not right to get involved?.

Honestly, I don't see no logic in none of your statement or part off. What, how would your ideal resolution would have happened if not US helping out?

the situations could have been resolved by sanctions and negotiations,than there are door channels of various kinds which the US is well adapt in using,war was not the only way <------- logic

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Guys, stop the quoting string, it hurts my eyes:)

Now. How come you people don't see the pattern lately? Do you really think that all this unrest in the muslim countries came by itself?

US is never liberating anybody, they just protect their interests there, and UN is just a tool for the most powerful to get justification. Stop being naive and thinking that US do these things because they care, the whole state survival is based on maintaining conflicts worldwide.

There are no humanitarian reasons in this game, only money, and power.

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Guys, stop the quoting string, it hurts my eyes:)

Now. How come you people don't see the pattern lately? Do you really think that all this unrest in the muslim countries came by itself?

US is never liberating anybody, they just protect their interests there, and UN is just a tool for the most powerful to get justification. Stop being naive and thinking that US do these things because they care, the whole state survival is based on maintaining conflicts worldwide.

There are no humanitarian reasons in this game, only money, and power.

AMEN.

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Guys, stop the quoting string, it hurts my eyes:)

Now. How come you people don't see the pattern lately? Do you really think that all this unrest in the muslim countries came by itself?

US is never liberating anybody, they just protect their interests there, and UN is just a tool for the most powerful to get justification. Stop being naive and thinking that US do these things because they care, the whole state survival is based on maintaining conflicts worldwide.

There are no humanitarian reasons in this game, only money, and power.

I must quote this, very good words to which I agree with. This helps me point out what I was trying to point out earlier, the same situation has been taking place in Zimbabwe for so many years and nobody ever cares to "liberate" them. In fact the media completely ignores the problem like it's not even happening, and why? Because they (Zimbabwe) are perceived as little economic value to the rich countries. Mind you Robert Mugabe is currently ranked number 1 in the The World's 10 Worst Dictators but you hear nothing of this in the news, and nobody wants to liberate those people.

And of course don't forget about Omar al-Bashir; Bashir’s military campaign has been accused of driving 2.7 million people from their homes since 2003. That figure is still rising. Yet over the years U.S. trade with Sudan increases despite the US imposing trade sanctions against Sudan. So you see on the one hand they put the sanctions to achieve one goal but they end up doing more trade thus keeping in power the Dictators who they have good arrangements with.

Yup those 2 guys are so much worse than Qaddafi but you see Qaddafi is a strong supporter of the Red Army and not many people like this, when the Allies want to get rid of a dictator they first begin by sensationalizing every crime committed in the country, then they emphasize the need to involve themselves in everyone's best interest. I just want to emphasize what toyo said, we can't be naive, people and especially governments rarely ever do things out of the goodness of their heart, so we need to think and gather all the information and take a top view of the overall chess board to see the whole game. Remember humans are vengeful creatures, there are Americans who still hate Japan for Pearl Harbour, some of them still hate Russia, this is the world we live in.

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Guys, stop the quoting string, it hurts my eyes:)

Now. How come you people don't see the pattern lately? Do you really think that all this unrest in the muslim countries came by itself?

US is never liberating anybody, they just protect their interests there, and UN is just a tool for the most powerful to get justification. Stop being naive and thinking that US do these things because they care, the whole state survival is based on maintaining conflicts worldwide.

There are no humanitarian reasons in this game, only money, and power.

I must quote this, very good words to which I agree with. This helps me point out what I was trying to point out earlier, the same situation has been taking place in Zimbabwe for so many years and nobody ever cares to "liberate" them. In fact the media completely ignores the problem like it's not even happening, and why? Because they (Zimbabwe) are perceived as little economic value to the rich countries. Mind you Robert Mugabe is currently ranked number 1 in the The World's 10 Worst Dictators but you hear nothing of this in the news, and nobody wants to liberate those people.

And of course don't forget about Omar al-Bashir; Bashir's military campaign has been accused of driving 2.7 million people from their homes since 2003. That figure is still rising. Yet over the years U.S. trade with Sudan increases despite the US imposing trade sanctions against Sudan. So you see on the one hand they put the sanctions to achieve one goal but they end up doing more trade thus keeping in power the Dictators who they have good arrangements with.

Yup those 2 guys are so much worse than Qaddafi but you see Qaddafi is a strong supporter of the Red Army and not many people like this, when the Allies want to get rid of a dictator they first begin by sensationalizing every crime committed in the country, then they emphasize the need to involve themselves in everyone's best interest. I just want to emphasize what toyo said, we can't be naive, people and especially governments rarely ever do things out of the goodness of their heart, so we need to think and gather all the information and take a top view of the overall chess board to see the whole game. Remember humans are vengeful creatures, there are Americans who still hate Japan for Pearl Harbour, some of them still hate Russia, this is the world we live in.

makes me recall the ending conversation dialogues from the movie " The Hunting Party " , based upon true events , released in 2007 .

plot summary was -- ' A young journalist, a seasoned cameraman and a discredited war correspondent embark on an unauthorized mission to find the no. 1 war criminal in Bosnia; they find themselves in serious jeopardy when they are mistaken as a CIA hit squad and their target decides to come after them. '

and it goes ---

Richard Gere to Terence Howard , when they are being air lifted by the CIA after freeing them ---

" Let me ask you a question. In five years, why has the CIA, the Hague, the United Nations, and NATO not been able to find a guy that we found in just two days if you actually wanted to find him? "

The CIA Agent --

" If I ever hear from you again,the CIA will be on you like a cheap suit from the Men's Wearhouse.You'll be arrested, jailed and sodomized by a big, dumb,large-cocked Serbian bastard for the rest of your shitty little lives.And if you don't care about that if you like big Serbian cock,and you still plan on reporting any of this,then your friend Boris will find himself eaten by a tiger or lion or a squirrel or whatever fucking animal we can find in darkest Africa.

Look, Cunt.

The CIA has a bright side,

the CIA has a dark side.

and then there's the gray side.We do the things that people don't need to know about.It's a part we deny even exists. "

:ph34r:

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Being born in a country with sought after natural resources is both a blessing and a curse, since the earliest days of history. US is momentarily in the position that nobody on this planet can go against them - but fear not, every empire will go down in the end. Sad thing is that another will take its place.

In the meantime, just be thankful if you can sleep soundly at night, with nobody coming to "liberate" you... As for those cheerful Benghazi people, now happy with the UN intervention, they'll learn soon enough that the sheep should never seek the wolf's help.

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does everyone people search for power ?

people that doesn't, who care about the leader, the government, all they want just a better life !

but the real life is suck.

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Being born in a country with sought after natural resources is both a blessing and a curse, since the earliest days of history. US is momentarily in the position that nobody on this planet can go against them - but fear not, every empire will go down in the end. Sad thing is that another will take its place.

In the meantime, just be thankful if you can sleep soundly at night, with nobody coming to "liberate" you... As for those cheerful Benghazi people, now happy with the UN intervention, they'll learn soon enough that the sheep should never seek the wolf's help.

AMEN

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It is pathetic to call revolutionaries idiots for willing to get rid of Gadhafi, so is to call UN being wrong in attempt to defend civilians

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@Atasas : this is what happening , they are blaming people because they said for the first time in 40 years "i want the change"

@karachi : brother , which logic are u talking about ?

are you talking about making logic discussion with GADDAFI ? who in the first days said "I have millions with me and they aren't from Libya , they are from outside"

for god sake , a president threats his people with foreign Power , and you still want to talk about logic ?

what logic do you want to use with a president who said to people in Benghazi on Thursday "You people will have no mercy ".

what logic resolution are you talking about ?!

I'm a Muslim and Arabic , and i feel pity for Arabs and Muslims

People in Benghazi screamed on TV , Where are the ARABS , Where are The Muslims ?!?!!!!!! Nobody from both communities have had an answer for those screams

They both are cowards , they've never been up to help people at all , remind me when the World Muslim Community has arranged even a meeting to discuss the Libyan situation!

it never happened , remind me why Arab league had set a meeting ?! because after a complete Month they didn't have a solution or any kind of sense to help Libyans

the only thing they can offer is pitying the UN to make a resolution to force The No-Fly-Zone on Arabic Land , wow what a great solidarity

if we're going to blame France , USA , Britain , and Canada and whoever

are we sure , we did what we could as Muslims or Arabs to help those people in libya ?! we only talked , talked , talked ,talked and yet again still talking , No work

we failed , that's why we asked for others help , and when they tried to help us

Now , we're going to blame them , i'm feeeling so sorry for Arabs and muslims in this world . coz face the truth both of them are helpless even in an issue that matters both of them

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Just for argument sake- How come Egypt had made such great change? yes, it is young country (not, but as in democratic terms) they should be an example of as what can be done with good will and effort

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