Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 9, 2011

9 June 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Defense Chiefs Endorse Extension Of Libyan War To End Of September
  • Pentagon Chief Pressures More NATO Allies For Libyan War Support
  • 83-Day Air War: 10,290 NATO Sorties, Almost 4,000 Combat Flights
  • Namibia: Call For Marches, Other Actions Against NATO’s Atrocities In Libya
  • NATO Escalates Bombardment Of Tripoli
  • Obama’s Fourth War Intensifying, Who Will Be Victim Of Fifth War?
  • Russia Opposes Any UN Resolution On Syria: Foreign Ministry
  • Kazakhstan: Senate Rejects Providing NATO With Afghan War Troops
  • Kazakh People Against Afghan War Deployment
  • Afghanistan: Over 230 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year

NATO Defense Chiefs Endorse Extension Of Libyan War To End Of September

U.S. Department of Defense

June 8, 2011

NATO Endorses Decision to Extend Libya Operation

By Jim Garamone

BRUSSELS, Belgium: NATO defense ministers have endorsed the decision to extend Operation Unified Protector by 90 days, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said here today.

The extension authorizes NATO to continue operations through the end of September, the secretary general said during a news conference at the alliance’s headquarters in conjunction with a meeting of NATO defense ministers in which Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is participating.

NATO ministers agreed to continue to support the effort in Libya, the secretary general said, by providing the necessary capabilities to continue and conclude the operation.

“We agreed that the time has come to plan for the day after the conflict,” Rasmussen said. “Gadhafi is history. It is no longer a question of if he goes, but when he goes. It may take weeks, but it could happen tomorrow. The international community has to be ready.”


Pentagon Chief Pressures More NATO Allies For Libyan War Support,0,6023643.story

Los Angeles Times

June 9, 2011

Gates calls for more NATO allies to join Libya air campaign

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates names five alliance members that he says should do more to share the burden of NATO’s air campaign against Moammar Kadafi. Only seven nations are carrying out airstrikes.

By David S. Cloud

Reporting from Brussels: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday urged more NATO allies to join the air campaign against Libya, arguing that it was putting a strain on the seven members of the 28-nation alliance that are carrying the burden in a conflict that shows few signs of ending soon, U.S. officials said.

…Gates took the unusual step of naming five alliance members with limited or no role in the operation that he said should provide strike aircraft to hit ground targets in Libya or other capabilities, according to a senior U.S. official.

Gates made the comments at a closed-door meeting of NATO ministers that endorsed continuing the air operation for another three months.

Gates, who is retiring at the end of the month, called on Germany and Poland, which have refused to participate in the Libya campaign, to contribute. He also urged Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, which are participating but not in airstrikes, to step up their role, according to officials familiar with the discussion.

Calling the conflict a “war of attrition” and a “psychological war,” the senior U.S. official said that “crews are getting tired” and that “the stress on aircraft is significant.” With only a few alliance members participating, he said, “it doesn’t mean they can’t continue the operation; they will, but it’s stressful.”

At the meeting, Norway’s representative said his country was reviewing its role to see whether its air force could continue its current level of participation, the U.S. official said.

In addition, the official said, the air campaign is straining the military budgets of those conducting airstrikes because they had not planned for the cost of such a long campaign and have to replenish their munitions stockpiles.

Other countries involved in the air campaign include the United States, Canada, Italy, Denmark and Belgium.

“For some of them, it’s the first time they are involved in an air ***and ground war***, this is not something they do as a matter of course,” said the U.S. official, who requested anonymity in discussing the meeting.

After leading the initial air assault on Libya in the first weeks, the United States scaled back its involvement and is now mostly providing aerial refueling, surveillance and other support functions, as well as several Predator drones, which are being used in airstrikes.

None of the countries named by Gates made a commitment to increase their participation or responded to his implied criticism, the U.S. official said. But Spain’s representative noted that its parliament would have to approve any expansion of the nation’s role, the official said.

On Tuesday, President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and at least publicly did not put pressure on her nation to participate in the air campaign. In comments at a joint news conference, Obama spoke instead of Germany’s potential role in rebuilding Libya if Kadafi is driven from power.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters that the ministers at Wednesday’s meeting had agreed that it was time for the United Nations to begin planning for how it will assist Libya once Kadafi leaves power.

“We see the United Nations playing the leading role in a post-Kadafi scenario,” he said, adding that alliance would assist if requested by the U.N., but “I don’t foresee NATO troops on the ground.”


83-Day Air War: 10,290 NATO Sorties, Almost 4,000 Combat Flights

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

June 9, 2011

NATO and Libya

Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 10290 sorties, including 3907 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 08 JUNE: 113

Strike sorties conducted 08 JUNE: 47


Namibia: Call For Marches, Other Actions Against NATO’s Atrocities In Libya

New Era

June 9, 2011

Call for march against NATO aggression

By Albertina Nakale

WINDHOEK: The Pan Afrikanist Steering Committee of Namibia Against United Nations Resolution 1973 (PSCNAUNR) has called on the government to immediately demand that the United Nations General Assembly put an immediate cessation to the aggression and genocide against the people of Libya and Africa.

The committee has also called on the Namibian government and fellow members to recall Namibia’s ambassadors and to expel the ambassadors of countries that are directly involved in the bombardment of Libya within three days, until the war of aggression is called off.

In a statement issued on Monday, the committee expressed deep sadness at the appalling atrocities being committed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“NATO is a protracted sponsor of mercenaries described as rebels by European governments to attack and kill, maim and destroy local infrastructures leading to ethnic cleansing where such people live in fear of their lives within Libya.

“This violates African human rights and violates the territorial integrity of Africa and its people. NATO will attack one state together while others watch; until their turn to be attacked comes and they will fight all by themselves and get defeated. No individual state can defeat these fellows,” reads the committee’s statement.

The committee said Europeans through NATO should not be allowed to ignore the African Union (AU) and override Africa in a second colonial bid.

“It is now clear that the motive behind Resolution 1973 was of a sinister nature in the first instance, representing a declaration of war as demonstrated by attacks and acts of aggression against a sovereign state of the AU,” according to the committee.

Thus PSCNAUNR charges NATO’s aggression is a crime against humanity.

It demands the immediate removal of NATO from the area and that they speedily be brought to justice.

The committee said the UN resolution was a deception and brainchild of the USA, France and Britain.

“A group of reputed warmongers are well known on the globe, who had indeed succeeded in fooling the members of that honourable council of the UN under the false pretence that the said resolution was for the protection of civilians,” it says.

In pursuit of justice, the committee demands that two permanent seats be created on the UN Security Council within the same time span it took to get Resolution 1973.

The seats would be for the AU and the Caribbean Union.

Moreover, the committee demands an immediate trade embargo and the freezing of all assets of those governments and their people that have declared war against Libya.

They called on the AU Assembly to effect this programme of action without delay.

The committee called on the Namibian government and the AU to mobilize a national march (es) on June 11 against the UN, NATO, US, France, Italy and Britain’s programme of regime change in Libya.


NATO Escalates Bombardment Of Tripoli

Xinhua News Agency

June 8, 2011

NATO intensifies Tripoli airstrikes

TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed not to surrender as NATO unleashed a series of daytime airstrikes on the capital Tripoli on Tuesday.

At least 15 loud explosions were heard, said a Xinhua correspondent. A fire broke out in Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya residential compound, an eyewitness told Xinhua.

Intensive continuous bombardment, according to Libya’s state TV, destroyed buildings and infrastructure in the area of Bab al-Aziziya.

Smoke could still be seen billowing from a nearby military base although Libyan civil defense teams managed to douse the fire, a Xinhua correspondent said.

In a nine-minute audio message late Tuesday, Gaddafi said that he was close to the bombing but would neither kneel nor surrender.

“We have only one choice – to stay in our country to the end, dead or alive,” he said, adding that the Libyan people will march across the country to cleanse it from “armed gangs,” referring to opposition forces controlling eastern Libya.

The world’s major powers, Britain, the United States and France, have launched airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces since March 19 after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

NATO took over full command of military operations against Libya from the United States on March 31.

Huge fire hits Gaddafi’s residential compound in Tripoli

TRIPOLI, June 7: A huge fire erupted in Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s vast Bab al-Aziziya residential compound in the capital Tripoli, an eyewitness told Xinhua Tuesday.

Libyan civil defense teams managed to douse the fire, Xinhua correspondent said, adding that smoke could be seen rising from a military base, not far from Bab al-Aziziya residential compound.


Obama’s Fourth War Intensifying, Who Will Be Victim Of Fifth War?

Voice of Russia

June 9, 2011

Obama’s fourth war intensifying

Boris Volkhonsky

The New York Times has revealed what it calls “the Obama administration’s most closely guarded secret”, that is the fact that the US is not only launching a covert war in Yemen, but intensifying it now that the Yemeni president Abdullah Ali Saleh has fled the country after being wounded and receiving severe burns in a mortar attack on the presidential palace on June 2.

The reasons for the covert military operation are obvious. Abdullah Saleh is one of the most important allies of the US in its “anti-terrorist campaign”.

On the other hand, some of the rebels trying to put an end to his 33-year-old rule allegedly belong to Al Qaeda. It is reported that President Saleh himself authorized American military missions in Yemen back in 2009. But there has been a gap of almost one year in American airstrikes on Yemeni soil. Now, the airstrikes have resumed. As reported by The New York Times, the American campaign in Yemen is led by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, and is closely coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency. Teams of American military and intelligence agents have acommand post in Sana, the Yemeni capital, to track intelligence about militants in Yemen and plot future strikes.

The recent strikes have reportedly killed several midlevel Al Qaeda militants. In fact, the score of civilian deaths is much higher. As US military officials admit, using force against militants in Yemen is complicated by the fact that Al Qaeda agents have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack them without the appearance of picking sides.

The whole story is strikingly different from what is going on, for example, in Libya, or what the US and its NATO allies would like to have in Syria. Abdullah Ali Saleh has ruled Yemen for 33 years – almost as long as his Libyan colleague Muammar Gaddafi. In terms of inner principles, his rule has not been much different from Gaddafi’s rule, or that of any other dictator in the Middle East. But – and the “but” is most important – while Gaddafi, or the Syrian Assad dynasty looked obvious villains in the Western eyes, Saleh has been an important ally. Therefore, the militants in Libya and protesters in Syria are called pro-democratic forces, while those in Yemen are labeled as Ql Qaeda militants and terrorists.

It is easy to do so, since Al Qaeda is a network organization with a very loose or, by and large, a non-existant organizational structure. You raise arms against our ally, and you are automatically included into the “terrorist list”. But the situation in Yemen is much more complicated than “bad guys and good guys”.

Yes, there are radical Islamic militants among the protesters and it is quite probable that some of them are affiliated with Al Qaeda. But Saleh’s regime has alienated such a wide spectrum of social forces that one cannot simply label everyone as “terrorists” and “militants”.

The expression “double standards” have been so widely used lately that repeating it seems senseless. But on the other hand, the usual habits of the American leadership leave no other option. Franklin Roosevelt’s phrase that “so-and-so is an SoB, but he is our SoB” seems to be relevant now and again.

And also, the Yemeni situation tears away all the masks Obama was trying so hard to put on when dealing with Libya. He has tried hard to present the Libyan operation as an entirely European affair with limited and forced assistance from Washington. But now it is becoming clear that such attempts were meant entirely for local consumption in the US. In fact, Obama is only too eager to launch a third war in Libya and a fourth one in Yemen.

The question is who will be the target of the fifth Obama war?


Russia Opposes Any UN Resolution On Syria: Foreign Ministry

Russian Information Agency Novosti

June 9, 2011

Russia opposes any UN resolution on Syria – Foreign Ministry

Mpwcow: Russia is against any UN resolution on Syria as the situation in the country is not threatening to global security, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

Britain and France submitted a new draft resolution on Syria on Wednesday. The UN Security Council will vote on the document in the next few days.

“The Russian president has repeatedly said Russia opposes any UN Security Council resolution on Syria,” Lukashevich said. “The situation in the country does not pose any threat to international peace and security.”

Russia is a permanent UN Security Council member with veto-wielding power.

Lukashevich said “extremist calls, including from the so-called foreign-based opposition to topple the regime and avoid all-national dialogue are not helping to calm the situation.”

He added that Russia was increasingly concerned over reports about radicals’ moving to confrontation with military and law enforcement officials, which only further escalates the situation and breeds violence.

Unrest in Syria began in mid-March and has swept the northwestern and western parts of the country and the area near the capital Damascus.


Kazakhstan: Senate Rejects Providing NATO With Afghan War Troops

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

June 9, 2011

Kazakh senate rejects sending soldiers to Afghanistan

Astana/Moscow: Kazakhstan’s senate on Thursday rejected a proposal to send four Kazakh officers to serve with NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, but a new vote on the controversial measure could come in late June.

Last month, the Central Asian country’s lower house approved the deployment, which requires the support of the upper house and the president to take effect.

The lower house on May 18 approved the deployment for non-combat jobs in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

‘Right now the US is thinking about how to get its troops out of Afghanistan,’ said senate deputy Svetlana Zhalmagambetova before the upper house voted to reject the measure.

‘Is it worth it to ruin our reputation as a peaceful country at the very last moment of the war?’ she said, according to the Interfax news agency.

The proposal has sparked a wide-ranging discussion in Kazakh society and media, which are normally tightly controlled by the regime of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Energy-rich Kazakhstan has attempted to take a neutral position between Russia, the US, and China, all of which are pushing to increase their influence in Central Asia.

Astana in 2010 approved the movement of NATO lorry convoys through its territory to deliver supplies to IASF forces in northern Afghanistan, but Kazakhstan’s military cooperates most closely with Russia.


Kazakh People Against Afghan War Deployment

Voice of Russia

June 9, 2011

Kazakh people against Afghan campaign involvement

In Kazakhstan, over 112,000 signatures against the involvement of that country’s specialists in the NATO-led military activity in Afghanistan have been collected, organizers of the No to War! event said in a statement.

The campaign’s coordination council, comprised of veterans and disabled veterans of the war in Afghanistan and other local conflicts, as well as Chernobyl veterans, demands the rejection of the bill on the ratification of a Kazakhstan-NATO treaty on Kazakh peacekeepers’ joining the Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).


Afghanistan: Over 230 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year

Trend News Agency

June 9, 2011

One NATO soldier killed in S. Afghanistan

A NATO soldier was killed Thursday in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in volatile southern Afghanistan, the military alliance said.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today,” said a statement issued by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here, Xinhua reported.

However, the brief statement did not reveal the nationality of the victim, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

Troops mainly from U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

The simple but lethal homemade Taliban weapon, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), used in making suicide vests and roadside bombs has proved challenging for Afghan and NATO-led forces in the insurgency-hit country.

Over 230 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since beginning this year.

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