Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 21, 2011

21 June 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 12,000 With Over 4,500 Combat Sorties
  • NATO Intensifies Deadly Bombing Of Civilian Targets In Libya
  • Libya Accuses NATO Of Targeting Civilians, Targeted Assassinations
  • Palestine Sends Protest Note To NATO Over Killing Of Family In Libya
  • NATO Air Strike Kills Syrian Family In Tripoli
  • Libya: U.S. Conducts Scores Of Air, Drones Strike Since Handoff To NATO
  • NATO Loses Helicopter In Libya
  • 64 Joint Events This Year: NATO Strengthens Ties With Ukraine
  • Afghanistan: NATO Loses Four Soldiers Since Yesterday
  • Another Georgian Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War
  • Georgia: Pentagon Leads Joint Military Exercise
  • Opposition Party: Georgia Cannon Fodder Store For NATO And U.S.
  • Raytheon Wins $1.7 Billion Bid To Upgrade Saudi Missile Interceptors

Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 12,000 With Over 4,500 Combat Sorties

Click to access 20110621_110621-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

June 21, 2011

NATO and Libya

Allied 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 11930 sorties, including 4521 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 20 JUNE: 52


NATO Intensifies Deadly Bombing Of Civilian Targets In Libya

Voice of Russia

June 21, 2011

NATO kills innocents again

Libya has accused NATO forces of an airstrike that is said to have killed 9 civilians, including 4 children and injured 18 others over the weekend.

The early Sunday morning attack destroyed one apartment building, crashing residents beneath tones of debris while they were sleeping, Libyan authorities said. Have a dozen homes on a normally quiet street were also damaged. The rescue operation began immediately, but people on the ground expressed fear that there was little hope of anyone being found alive under the rubble. A Libyan rescue worker recounted his experience: “Under the rubble we were able to find four children and two adults – a man and a woman.”

Family members of those that were killed mourned at the site for hours. Mohammed al-Hurari lost 5 members of his family and barely survived himself.

“I woke up when I heard an explosion. Some stones and pieces of the roof fell on me. I ran immediately to see how my family was and many were dead. My mother survived, another brother is in a coma, and we don’t know when or if he will recover.”

Libyan government allowed international journalists to the bomb site as victims were still being pulled from the rubble. Typically, journalist movements are limited. Late Sunday Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi sent a message to the members of UN Security Council, holding them responsible for what he called ‘a methodical extermination process’. Government Spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim spoke to reporters near the site of the incident:

“They were attacked by rockets from the sky. People were killed, children. With my own hands, with my own eyes I saw and helped take out little girls who were killed and little boys, the father and the mother. Two whole families perished under this attack. You cannot justify this attack with anything. This is not protection of civilians. ”

Later, at a hospital, he denounced the strike in NATO’s presence in Libya.

“Basically, this is another night of murder, and terror, and horror in Tripoli, caused by NATO. You have seen with your own eyes the terrible disaster that is taking place every day in Tripoli.”

NATO later admitted that their forces are likely to blame the same mistake. This was their official announcement: “The intended target during last night air strike in Tripoli was a military missile site. However, from our initial assessment of the facts, it appears that one weapon did not strike the intended target due to a weapons system failure.”


Libya Accuses NATO Of Targeting Civilians, Targeted Assassinations

Deutsche Press-Agentur

June 21, 2011

Libyan government accuses NATO of targeting civilians

The Libyan government on Tuesday accused NATO of targeting civilians, and of so far killing 700, as heavy fighting continued between Moamer Gaddafi’s forces and rebels near the city of Misurata, DPA reported.

Libyan security forces claimed to have overheard a telephone conversation in which NATO officials said they planned to target the homes of all of Gaddafi’s children, a government official who chose to remain unnamed told the German Press Agency dpa.

“We accuse NATO of carrying out targeted assassinations and attacks against civilians in Libya,” the official said.

Government officials claim that NATO airstrikes, which began in late March with the aim of protecting civilians, have killed 700 civilians so far, according to regional broadcaster Al Jazeera.

A NATO attack also killed 15 civilians including relatives of former Interior Minister Khuwaylidi al-Hamidi, closely linked to Gaddafi, on Monday, the government said Monday.

The accusations came after NATO admitted on Sunday for the first time that civilians had been killed during a bombing raid over Tripoli.


Palestine Sends Protest Note To NATO Over Killing Of Family In Libya

Ma’an News Agency

June 21, 2011

NATO airstrike kills Palestinian family in Tripoli

RAMALLAH: A Palestinian family of four was killed in a NATO airstrike Monday on the Libyan capital of Tripoli, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry explained in a statement published Tuesday on the government news agency Wafa, that the International Red Crescent Association had relayed the news.

The family, according to Wafa’s report, had lived in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, before moving to Tripoli.

Palestinian ambassador to Libya Atif Udah told Ma’an radio the family was in a three-story building targeted by a NATO air attack. He identified the victims as Abdullah Muhammad Ash-Shihab, his wife Karima and his 6-month-old twins Khalid and Jumanah.

He noted that President Mahmoud Abbas asked the foreign ministry and the embassy in Libya to send a protest note to NATO, the Red Cross, and the UN.

Earlier in June, Ma’an spoke to the PA’s Minister of Interior Sa’id Abu Ali about the status of Palestinian communities in Arab countries experiencing revolutions, such as Yemen and Libya.

He said that there was a special military committee that monitors Palestinian communities and provides help in moving them to safer areas.

Libyan officials reported that 15 civilians were killed on Monday in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

The treaty organization has been carrying out strikes against Libya since May, assisting rebel forces calling for the ouster of the country’s leader Mommar Gadhafi.


NATO Air Strike Kills Syrian Family In Tripoli

Syrian Arab News Agency

June 19, 2011

A Four-Member Syrian Family Killed by NATO Raids in Tripoli, Libya

R. Milhem, R. Jazaeri

TRIPOLI, Libya: A four-member Syrian family was killed in an air raid launched by NATO on the Orada neighborhood, Tripoli, early on Sunday.

Libyan Official Spokesman, Mousa Ibrahim, told journalists that the raid claimed the lives of the Syrian citizen Abdullah Namr Shihab, his Libyan wife Karima al-Gharari and their two children.

He pointed out that a rocket fell down directly on the family’s house in al-Orada neighborhood.

Ibrahim said that many people were injured as neighboring houses were also damaged by the rocket, stating that this sort of bombing shows that NATO military operations have entered a new phase which is devastating residential and populated areas.


Libya: U.S. Conducts Scores Of Air, Drones Strike Since Handoff To NATO

New York Times

June 21, 2011

Scores of U.S. Strikes in Libya Followed Handoff to NATO

By Charlie Savage and Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON: Since the United States handed control of the air war in Libya to NATO in early April, American warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces about 30 times, according to military officials.

The most recent strike from a piloted United States aircraft was on Saturday, and the most recent strike from an American drone was on Wednesday, the officials said.

While the Obama administration has regularly acknowledged that American forces have continued to take part in some of the strike sorties, few details about their scope and frequency have been made public.

The unclassified portion of material about Libya that the White House sent to Congress last week, for example, said “American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator” drones, but included no numbers for such strikes.

The disclosure of such details could add texture to an unfolding debate about the merits of the Obama administration’s legal argument that it does not need Congressional authorization to continue the mission because United States forces are not engaged in “hostilities” within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution.

Under that 1973 law, presidents must end unauthorized deployments 60 days after notifying Congress that they have introduced American forces into actual or imminent hostilities. That deadline for the Libyan mission appeared to pass on May 20, but the administration contended that the deadline did not apply because the United States’ role had not risen to the level of “hostilities,” at least since it handed control of the mission over to NATO.

The special anti-radar missiles used to suppress enemy air defenses are usually carried by piloted aircraft, not drones, and the Pentagon has regularly said that American military aircraft have continued to conduct these missions. Still, officials have been reluctant to release the exact numbers of strikes.

The administration’s legal position prompted internal controversy. Top lawyers at the Justice Department and the Pentagon argued that the United States’ military activities did amount to “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution, but President Obama sided with top lawyers at the State Department and the White House who contended that they did not cross that threshold.

The House of Representatives may vote later this week on a proposal to cut off funding for the Libya mission. The proposal is backed by an odd-bedfellows coalition of antiwar liberals and Tea Party Republicans.

They are opposed by an equally unusual alignment of Democrats who support the White House and the intervention in Libya, and more hawkish Republicans.

On Monday, a group that includes prominent neoconservative figures — including Liz Cheney, Robert Kagan, William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz — sent Republicans an open letter opposing efforts to cut off funds for the mission.


NATO Loses Helicopter In Libya

Agence France-Presse

June 21, 2011

NATO says lost drone helicopter in Libya

BRUSSELS: NATO said it lost radar contact with a drone helicopter conducting a reconnaissance flight over Libya on Tuesday, denying one of its attack helicopters had crashed.

The alliance’s command centre in Naples, Italy, lost track of the unmanned autonomous helicopter drone at 0720 GMT, NATO military spokesman Mike Bracken said in a statement.

The military alliance was looking into the reason behind the incident.

Libyan state television on Tuesday showed footage of a burnt-out helicopter it identified as an Apache, reportedly downed near Zliten, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the capital.

The caption on the television, which quoted military sources, read: “Images of the Apache helicopter shot down by the people’s army.”

It was not immediately possible to verify if the helicopter was an Apache.

Zliten is 40 kilometres west of the rebel-held port city of Misrata.

NATO has been using combat helicopters over Libya in an attempt to break the stalemate in the conflict.


64 Joint Events This Year: NATO Strengthens Ties With Ukraine

Russian Information Agency Novosti

June 21, 2011

Kiev-NATO ties should not surprise Moscow – Ukrainian diplomat

-”If someone in Russia had illusions in this respect – that is their problem, we never intended to cut ties with the most powerful military organization in the world.”

STRASBOURG: The continuing close cooperation between Ukraine and NATO should have been expected by Russia, an Ukrainian diplomat said on Tuesday, adding that Kiev’s ties with the alliance are not aimed against Moscow.

Commenting on media reports that Ukraine and NATO have strengthened cooperation by planning at least 64 joint events this year, the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RIA Novosti that Kiev and Brussels applied an “everything but membership” formula in their relations.

“If someone in Russia had illusions in this respect – that is their problem, we never intended to cut ties with the most powerful military organization in the world,” he said.

The diplomat added that cooperation with the alliance helped Ukraine to conduct military reforms, modernization of its Armed Forces and training of military personnel, including staging military drills that would not be possible otherwise because of the lack of defense funds.

On June 6-18, Ukraine hosted Sea Breeze 2011, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea.

“We openly inform our Russia colleagues about everything that we do with NATO,” the diplomat said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor Viktor Yuschenko’s plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also said he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.


Afghanistan: NATO Loses Four Soldiers Since Yesterday

Xinhua News Agency

June 21, 2011

1 NATO soldier killed in IED blast in S. Afghanistan

KABUL: A NATO soldier was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in restive southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, bringing to four the number of casualties of military alliance in the country since Monday morning.

“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 on Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, the multi-national ISAF also confirmed losing two soldiers in two separate insurgent attacks in the country’s volatile eastern provinces on Monday.

Another ISAF service member was killed in an IED attack also in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

The NATO-led ISAF generally does not disclose the identity of the casualties, saying “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants there while U.S. forces mostly have been stationed in the eastern part of the insurgency-hit country.

Over 250 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since beginning this year.


Another Georgian Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War

Civil Georgia

June 21, 2011

Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Private Gia Goguadze died in hospital after being badly wounded in an attack in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on June 20.

“The Georgian military serviceman was injured during the attack of the insurgents. He was hospitalized though the medics could not save his life due to seriousness of injuries,” the MoD said.

With this latest death, total number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November 2009, increased to nine.


Georgia: Pentagon Leads Joint Military Exercise

Civil Georgia

June 21, 2011

U.S.-Georgia Joint Disaster Preparedness Training

Tbilisi: Twenty servicemen from the U.S. state of Georgia’s Army National Guard are holding joint training exercises with the Georgian personnel in effective response to natural disasters.

The combined bilateral, humanitarian assistance and response exercises, Shared Horizons 2011, are held at the Georgian National Guard Training Center in Tbilisi on June 20-24.

It also said that Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the U.S. Army Europe commanding general, would observe the joint exercises and would meet with Georgian government officials.


Opposition Party: Georgia Cannon Fodder Store For NATO And U.S.

Russian Information Agency Novosti

June 21, 2011

Georgian opposition party blasts Saakashvili for sending troops to Afghanistan

Tbilisi: The Georgian opposition Labor Party has strongly criticized the country’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for sending soldiers to Afghanistan following the killing of a ninth soldier by Taliban militants.

“Georgia has long become a cannon fodder store for NATO and the United States,” party spokesman Kakha Dzagania told journalists on Tuesday.

Many NATO member countries have refused to send their troops to Afghanistan, he said, while President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, seeking to join NATO, “does this to our children.”

By doing so, Dzagania said, the Georgian president is trying to “maintain [his] power.”

The Labor Party, which holds 6 out of 150 seats in the Georgian parliament, has urged NATO not to “make use of the tragedy of the Georgian people” and to reject Georgia’s participation in the military operation in Afghanistan.

Georgian Private Gia Goguadze, who had been serving in Afghanistan since 2010, died in a hospital after being seriously injured during an attack by Taliban militants in the volatile southern Helmand Province last week.

Goguadze became the ninth Georgian soldier to have been killed in Afghanistan since the country joined the international U.S.-led coalition fighting the Afghan insurgency in 2009.

More than 900 Georgian troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, including some 750 in the Helmand Province and 175 in the capital, Kabul.

U.S. troops are scheduled to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan next month, followed by other contingents involved in the ISAF. Responsibility for security will be gradually handed over to Afghan military and security forces.


Rustavi 2

June 21, 2011

Labour Party calls for Georgian withdrawal from Agfhanistan

The Labour Party of Georgia calls for the withdrawal of Georgian military units from Afghanistan.

The ideological secretary of the party, Kakha Dzagania, introduced the address to NATO at a briefing today. Dzagania said many countries refused to send their units to Afghanistan and now the Georgian government is filling in this deficit with its soldiers.

Dzagania alleged the president of Georgia took responsibility to increase the Georgian contingent in the ISAF mission at the meeting with the US Vice President Joseph Biden. The opposition party calls on the Alliance to refuse Georgia sending its troops to Afghanistan.

`We address the NATO political-military organization not to use the `misfortune` of the nation, and say no to the victim sacrificed to them by Georgian dictator,` Dzagania said.


Raytheon Wins $1.7 Billion Bid To Upgrade Saudi Missile Interceptors

Raytheon Company

June 21, 2011

Raytheon Receives $1.7 Billion to Upgrade Patriot for Saudi Arabia

TEWKSBURY, Mass. – Raytheon Company has received a $1.7 billion Direct Commercial Sales contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to the latest Configuration-3. The award includes ground-system hardware, a full training package and support equipment upgrades.

“Raytheon is honored to provide the most technologically advanced air and missile defense system in the world to Saudi Arabia,” said Tom Kennedy, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). “We are pleased that, with this contract, they have shown further confidence in Raytheon and the superior air and missile defense capabilities of the Patriot system.”

The business partnership of Raytheon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spans 45 years and a number of programs. Raytheon first supplied the combat-proven Patriot system to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s to protect the nation’s critical assets. Subject to customary U.S. regulatory approvals, work under this contract will be performed by Raytheon at the Integrated Air Defense Center in Andover, Mass. and in Saudi Arabia.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles…

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