Stop NATO Updates on Libyan war 20 March 2011

20 March — Stop NATO

  • Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire, Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital
  • U.S. Stealth Bombers Drop 40 Bombs On Libyan Airfield
  • Norway Provides Six F-16s For Strikes Against Libya
  • Canadian Prime Minister: Strikes On Libya “Act Of War,” Expect Civilian Casualties
  • Russia: NATO Attacks Kill 48 Libyan Civilians, Wound Over 150
  • Chinese, Russian Foreign Ministries Call For End To Attacks On Libya
  • African Union Panel Rejects Foreign Military Intervention In Libya
  • U.S.-Led Attacks May Unify Libyans Against West: Expert
  • U.S., NATO Allies Turn North Africa Into War Zone
  • Libya Denounces West’s Colonialist Crusade

Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire, Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital

en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1848935.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

March 20, 2011

Heavy anti-aircraft fire in Tripoli

Anti-aircraft fire was heard in Libya’s capital Tripoli early Sunday morning, hours after Western nations launched their first air strikes against Libyan defences and began enforcing a no-fly zone, dpa reported.

Explosions had also been heard in Tripoli, US broadcaster CNN reported, though it was not clear whether this was the result of any more missiles fired by Western fighter jets or ships.

The anti-aircraft fire lasted about 10 minutes, according to British broadcaster BBC.

The United States and British ships fired some 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 Libyan air defences in Tripoli and Misrata, while French and British planes patrolled the skies over the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

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U.S. Stealth Bombers Drop 40 Bombs On Libyan Airfield

english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47686317.html

Voice of Russia

March 20, 2011

US drops 40 bombs on Libya

Three American B-2 stealth bombers have dropped 40 bombs on Libya’s major airfield, CBS News reported without mentioning any details.

On March 19th, French planes fired the first shots, destroying Gaddafi’s tanks and armored vehicles outside the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Later, U.S. and British warships and submarines launched at least 110 Tomahawk missiles against the Colonel’s air defenses.

The western coalition in Libya comprises the US, Great Britain, France, Norway, Spain and Denmark. Qatar has also expressed its intention to join in.

According to the Libyan television, missile attacks on that country killed 48 people and injured another 150.

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Norway Provides Six F-16s For Strikes Against Libya

en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1848939.html

Trend News Agency

March 20, 2011

Norway to send 6 F16 jet fighters for operations against Libya

Six F-16 jet fighters from Norway will take part in the Western-led military operations against Libya after the Norwegian Air Force has been given the go-ahead, the Norwegian news agency NTB reported on Saturday.

The Norwegian Air Force was ordered on Saturday night to have six F16 jet fighters and over 100 pilots and other personnel ready for military operations in Libya, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

The warplanes will take off right at the beginning of next week and will be based in Sicily, Italy.

Attending a summit in Paris on Saturday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said that Norway will participate in operations aimed at enforcing the UN-backed no-fly zone in Libya.

“Norwegian aircraft will be able to participate in all types of missions, both the enforcement of the no-fly zone and the bombing of military targets on the ground, “ Stoltenberg said.

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Canadian Prime Minister: Strikes On Libya “Act Of War,” Expect Civilian Casualties

www.vancouversun.com/news/strikes+Libya+Harper/4471863/story.html

Montreal Gazette

March 19, 2011

Air strikes on Libya an ‘act of war’: PM Harper

Canadian fighter jets could be ready to participate in 48 hours

By Mark Kennedy

PARIS: As the international community launched aerial military missions against Libya on Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the action amounts to an “act of war” that is critical to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power…

Harper made the comments after an emergency summit of world leaders who had gathered to discuss how they will implement a UN-sanctioned no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi’s suppression of civilians.

The coalition wasted no time, with French jets becoming the first, on Saturday, to begin enforcing the no-fly zone.

It was the first step in the largest international military exercise in the Arab world since the Iraq war.

The prime minister acknowledged that the military operation will be complex and could lead to casualties among the very civilians that nations are trying to protect, and perhaps among the military personnel being sent to Libya.

“We should not kid ourselves. Whenever you engage in military action – essentially acts of war – these are difficult situations,” Harper said.

“And we will have to monitor this very closely and be very careful what we do every step of the way.”

Canada has committed six CF-18 fighter jets and a contingent of 140 pilots and support personnel. They have arrived in the region and a government spokesman said they could be ready within two days to participate in the aerial missions.

“These campaigns are complicated and one cannot promise perfection. One cannot promise there will not be casualties on our side, either. But obviously, all precautions will be taken to minimize our own casualties and minimize those of innocent civilians.”

The summit Saturday was hastily organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Among those in attendance were British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of the Arab League and African Union.

Nations, including Canada, announced Friday that they will contribute military assets – such as fighter jets – to enforce a no-fly zone over Libyan skies.

A military jet – flown either by the regime’s air force or the rebels – was shot down in the city.

Little is known about how the military operation will evolve, but it’s expected the first steps will include attacks on Libyan air defences. It’s possible U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea would knock out Gadhafi’s radar and surface-to-air missile sites along Libya’s coastline.

That would clear the way for military jets to move in to strike any Libyan jets that are in the air. Moreover, it appears the coalition has the clearance to strike any Libyan military ground forces that are threatening civilians, including the rebels who have been doing battle with government forces.

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Russia: NATO Attacks Kill 48 Libyan Civilians, Wound Over 150

en.rian.ru/russia/20110320/163108359.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti

March 20, 2011

Moscow urges western nations to stop indiscriminate use of force in Libya

Moscow: Russia urges western nations to stop the indiscriminate use of force in Libya, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

“The reports say that during air raids on Libya strikes were also delivered on non-military facilities…As a result, 48 civilians are reported dead and over 150 wounded,” the ministry said in a statement.

‘In this connection, we are calling on the respective states to halt the indiscriminate use of force,” the statement said.

The military operation against Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled the country with an iron fist for more than 40 years began on Saturday, involving the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and other countries.

A new UN Security Council resolution on Libya adopted on Thursday encompasses a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” against forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.

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Chinese, Russian Foreign Ministries Call For End To Attacks On Libya

english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47684188.html

Voice of Russia

March 20, 2011

Russia, China warn not to use force against Libya

Russia and China have warned against the use of force in international affairs, expressing regret over the West coalition’s military action against Libya.

On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zyang Yui urged the UN Security Council to stick to the UN Charter and take steps in line with Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He was echoed by Russian counterpart Alexander Lukashevich who called for an immediate halt of the bloodshed and the beginning of peace talks in Libya.

The two men also warned against escalating the Libyan conflict, which they said is fraught with further loss of human life in the political unrest-hit North African country.

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African Union Panel Rejects Foreign Military Intervention In Libya

news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13788058.htm

Xinhua News Agency

March 20, 2011

AU panel says opposed to foreign military intervention in Libya: media report

NOUAKCHOTT: The high-level African Union panel on the Libya crisis has said it opposes any foreign military intervention in Libya, a media report said on Saturday.

AFP quoted Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz as saying that the panel rejects any kind of foreign military intervention in Libya.

The Mauritanian president said that the situation in the north African country demands urgent action so an African solution can be found to the very serious crisis.

Aziz also said the solution to the Libya crisis must take into account “Our desire that Libya’s unity and territorial integrity be respected as well as the rejection of any kind of foreign military intervention.”

The AU panel on the Libya crisis, which was formed a week ago, comprises Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz, South African President Jacob Zuma, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso and Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.

The AU said the ad hoc committee was set up to engage with all parties in Libya, facilitate an inclusive dialogue among them, and engage AU parties for the speedy resolution of the crisis in Libya.

The AU has rejected foreign military intervention in Libya.

France, the United States and Britain said on Saturday that they had conducted air strikes on Libyan targets.

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U.S.-Led Attacks May Unify Libyans Against West: Expert

en.rian.ru/world/20110320/163105798.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti

March 20, 2011

U.S.-led attack on Libya may force rebels to join forces with Gaddafi – expert

-”The American and French military who have attacked Libyan sites are treading on a very dangerous line beyond which irreversible consequences may start and cause large-scale combat operations.”

Moscow: The military action launched by the United States and its allies against Libya may force rebels to join forces with Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi, a military diplomat in the region told RIA Novosti over the phone on Sunday.

The expert said that the air strikes launched by the U.S. and allied forces could also inflict casualties on the rebels.

“The situation in Libya is very complicated; the conflicting parties are at a short distance from each other and the missile attacks launched by the NATO countries the other day may trigger an opposite reaction, as a result of which the so-called opposition and rebels will join forces with Gaddafi,” the expert said.

The expert said that the air strikes were destroying civilian and economic facilities and the declared goals of creating a no-fly zone over Libya ran counter to the U.S.-led coalition’s real actions.

“The American and French military who have attacked Libyan sites are treading on a very dangerous line beyond which irreversible consequences may start and cause large-scale combat operations,” the expert said.

The U.S. Pentagon reported that a U.S. warship fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi’s air defense sites. The U.S. operation is named “Odyssey Dawn”.

Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.

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U.S., NATO Allies Turn North Africa Into War Zone

en.rian.ru/world/20110320/163101148.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti

March 20, 2011

Gaddafi says arms Libyan people to fight against ‘foreign aggression’

Cairo: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday he started arming people in his country to fight against the ‘foreign aggression.’

“We are opening arms depots and giving people all kinds of weapons to defend the independence of Libya,” Gaddafi said on a national television.

The Libyan leader also said that interests of all countries involved in the attack on his country will be in danger in Libya and called their actions as the “aggression of crusaders and colonialists.”

“As a result of such open aggression and irresponsible behavior, the Mediterranean and North African territories turned into a war zone,” he said.

Unlike the previous times, Gaddafi’s address on the television on Sunday was not live and was broadcast in a form of an audio recording.

On Thursday the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Libya. Paris has taken the leading role in coordinating the world’s response to the tumult. U.S., British and French military have all launched strikes against Gaddafi.

Around 20 French Rafale and Mirage warplanes were sent to patrol the skies over the city of Benghazi. Since the beginning of the attack, the French aviation has destroyed four government tanks in the neighborhoods of the rebellious city.

British forces are in action in Libya, and its Navy submarine has fired Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Libyan air defense facilities.

U.S. Pentagon reported earlier that a U.S. warship fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi’s air defense sites. The U.S. operation is named “Odyssey Dawn”.

Countries including Canada, Denmark, Spain and Norway have sent jets to Libya, while Italy said it would permit the use of airbases such as Sigonella in Sicily and Aviano in the north to launch strikes.

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Libya Denounces West’s Colonialist Crusade

english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47678276.html

Voice of Russia

March 20, 2011

Gaddafi declares the Med “war zone”

Muammar Gaddafi has declared the Mediterranean a war zone and threatens to strike out at the region’s military and civilian installations. He also brands as a “colonial crusade” the ongoing western military operation against his regime.

In a phoned-in message aired by state television on Sunday Gaddafi called on the African, Arab and Latin American nations to support Libya in what he termed as a “struggle against a common enemy”, and said he was beginning to arm the population to fight off foreign aggression.

The UN-backed military operation, involving the US, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, was launched on Saturday. The coalition forces have already fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Libyan air defense installations and delivered numerous airstrikes on civilian sites in Tripoli and other big sites and on oil reservoirs in Misrata.

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