Obama to Keep US Military Action against Libyan Dictator Gaddafi 'Limited'

World | March 20, 2011, Sunday // 01:55|  views

US President Barack Obama (R), and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff (L) toasting in Brasilia, Brazil, on 19 March 2011. EPA/BGNES

US President Barack Obama has made it clear that America's role in the international military operation against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi will stay "limited" to strikes on air defense targets.

Speaking in Brazil late Saturday, Obama said no US troops will be deployed on the ground in Libya. In the first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn, Saturday, March 19, the US also did not use any of its aircraft, leaving the air strikes to France and the UK, and striking Gaddafi's air defenses with sea-based Tomahawk missiles.

Five Western nations – the USA, the UK, France, Italy, and Canada – have been identified as participating in "Operation Odyssey Dawn" – air and missile strikes against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Operation Odyssey Dawn is supposed to create a no-fly zone over Libya as mandated by Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council approved Thursday.

"Today I authorized the armed forces of the United States to begin a limited action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun," Obama told reporters in Brasilia, Brazil's capital, where he had just begun a five-day tour of Latin America, as cited by international media.

"We must be clear: actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced," Obama told reporters while on an official visit to Brazil. As I said yesterday, we will not -- I repeat -- we will not deploy any US troops on the ground," he said as cited by international media.

US-led coalition forces have fired about 100 sea-based Tomahawk missiles striking some 20 air defense targets in Libya, US Vice Admiral William Gortney announced in the Pentagon in Washington, DC, several hours after Operation Odyssey Dawn started.

Gortney is the Director of the Joint Staff who assists the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces.

The first US missile struck at 19:00 GMT following air strikes carried out earlier by French warplanes he said.

The Obama Administration has been very cautious with respect to going to war in Libya, jumping on board the French-British effort to get a UN resolution for a no-fly zone only the recent days, just as the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was closing in on the rebels' last stronghold in Benghazi.

As the US forces are still deeply tangled in Afghanistan and also continue to remain in Iraq, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been especially wary regarding military action in another Middle East country.

The Pentagon has indicated the American military will have a supporting role in the military operations leaving most of the bombing to the European allies and Canada.

Two US Navy destroyers and three US submarines are positioned in the Mediterranean near Libya, all of which are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles. A total of 25 coalition ships are stationed in the Mediterranean near Libya.

Operation Odyssey Dawn is the biggest foreign military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the first George W. Bush Administration.

After France, Britain, and the USA are taking the leading role in the first days of Operation Odyssey Dawn, there are indications that NATO as an organization will take up the role of enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya within days.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, Italy, USA, UK, Britain, France, canada, William Gortney, Operation Odyssey Dawn, Arabs, Arab world, Egypt, air strike, air strikes, missile attack, Anti-aircraft artillery, AAA, Barack Obama, US President, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mediterranean, NATO


» Related Articles: