Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: June 15, 2011

15 July 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO’s Air War In Libya: 15,193 Sorties, 5,721 Strike Missions
  • Venezuela Condemns NATO’s Military Aggression Against Libya
  • Britain Deploys Warship For NATO Libyan Operations
  • China, Russia Refuse To Attend Libya Contact Group Meeting In Turkey
  • Clinton In Turkey: U.S. Missile System In Turkey – Or Caucasus?

NATO’s Air War In Libya: 15,193 Sorties, 5,721 Strike Missions

Click to access 20110715_110715-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
July 15, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 15,193 sorties, including 5,721 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 JULY: 132

Strike sorties conducted 14 JULY: 48

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Venezuela Condemns NATO’s Military Aggression Against Libya

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/07/15/2681s648670.htm

Xinhua News Agency
July 15, 2011

Chavez Blasts European Powers, Urges NATO to Stop Air Raids

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday criticized European powers for their military intervention in Libya and urged NATO to stop air strikes against the North African country.

It was particularly wrong that the European powers continued to carry out military raids against targets in Libya when its leader Muammar Gaddafi had made repeated calls for a ceasefire, Chavez said in a live broadcast on state television.

Declaring that ‘Venezuea is with Libya,’ Chavez repeated his appeal for world powers to engage in talks between Gaddafi’s government and the opposition.

‘The Libyans are a heroic nation. Long live Libya and her independence. We are with you,’ said Chavez.

He said the European powers, instead of engaging in war, should concentrate on resolving the economic crisis that has engulfed the EU zone for months.

The European countries should ‘get out of this chess game’ and take care of their own problems, ‘so we can open a road toward peace, world balance and justice,’ said Chavez, who described NATO air raids as ‘assassin bombings’ and criticized in particular France, Britain and Spain.

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Britain Deploys Warship For NATO Libyan Operations

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-14154058

BBC News
July 14, 2011

HMS Sutherland left Highlands for Libya Nato operation

A warship that cut short a visit to a Highlands port has been involved in operations off Libya’s coast.

HMS Sutherland was in Invergordon in March to be given the freedom of the county of Sutherland.

It left the port a day earlier than expected but at the time the Royal Navy would not comment on the reason why.

The navy has now confirmed the frigate was first involved in an amphibious exercise in the Mediterranean before being diverted to Libya.

Warships have been blockading Libyan ports as part of Nato operations against Col Muammar Gaddafi and his forces.

HMS Sutherland has now been moved onto a maritime security role in the Middle East.

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China, Russia Refuse To Attend Libya Contact Group Meeting In Turkey

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=china-russia-refuse-to-attend-libya-contact-group-meeting-2011-07-14

Hürriyet Daily News
Juky 14, 201

China, Russia refuse to attend Libya Contact Group meeting
Sevil Küçükko?um

ANKARA: China and Russia announce that they will not be taking part in a Libya Contact Group meeting to be held in Istanbul, which is expected to discuss a Turkish proposed road-map for a political settlement

Invited as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia will not participate in the international Libya Contact Group meeting to be held Friday in Istanbul.

Russia, which is critical of the NATO-led strikes in Libya, turned down Turkey’s invitation, while China, which has maintained a policy of non-interference in the conflict, has not said it will attend the meeting, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News on Thursday.

Major Western and regional powers will gather in Istanbul for the fourth meeting of the contact group, which seeks to bring an end to the Libyan crisis. China will skip the meeting ‘because the function and method of operation of this contact group need further study,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday.

China did not use its veto in March to block a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized the NATO military campaign against the Libyan regime. The country has, however, recently held discussions with representatives from both Tripoli and rebel-held Benghazi, calling these talks part of an effort to encourage a negotiated end to the fighting.

Russia also abstained from a vote on the U.N. resolution and criticized the scale and intent of the NATO-led military campaign.

Turkey is expected to propose a ‘road map’ for discussion in the meeting that aims to find a political settlement between the representatives of the Libyan regime, excluding Col. Moammar Gadhafi and his inner circle, and the opposition in the North African country.

Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, the U.N. envoy for Libya, will brief participants on his recent discussions with representatives from Tripoli and the opposition in Benghazi, the Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.

Another key issue will be the Libyan opposition’s demand for access to the regime’s frozen assets. There is expected to be discussion on a formula of giving the opposition loans using the frozen assets as a guarantee, another Turkish diplomat told the Daily News.

‘Since it’s not possible to release those frozen assets right now due to lack of legal grounds, an alternative of giving a loan in return for collecting that amount from the frozen bank accounts in the future will be discussed,’ the diplomat said.

Visiting Turkey last week, Mahmud Jibril, a senior member of the National Transitional Council, called on the international community to release Libyan funds frozen under sanctions against Gadhafi’s regime in order to deliver them to the opposition.

The Libya Contact Group was established in March at a London conference to solve the Libyan crisis and coordinate international efforts in this direction. The fourth meeting of the group, to be held in Istanbul, will take place under the co-chairing of Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. High-level officials from 40 countries are expected to attend.

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Clinton In Turkey: U.S. Missile System In Turkey – Or Caucasus?

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63886

EurasiaNet
July 14, 2011

Clinton Goes to Istanbul; Will Missile Defense be on the Agenda?
By Joshua Kucera

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Turkey on Friday, and some reports suggest that the Turkish government is prepared to agree to host a NATO missile defense system there. Turkey, you’ll recall, wanted to impose several conditions on the system’s deployment in Turkey, mainly that it not explicitly target Iran and that information from the system not be shared with Israel.

It’s not clear that any of those issues have been resolved, but a couple of U.S. senators have called on the administration to consider using the South Caucasus, instead. Senior U.S. missile defense officials, the senator wrote, have said that ‘a forward-deployed X-Band radar in either Georgia or Armenia would have significant advantages for the missile defense of the United States,’ according to a letter obtained by ForeignPolicy.com blogger Josh Rogin. (Presumably the reference to Armenia is a mistake and they mean Azerbaijan, which gives a sense of how attuned to the regional dynamics the senators are.)

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same senators said the same thing in February – though then they were accompanied by two additional senators. It’s not clear why those senators dropped out of this campaign, but it could be because the whole idea makes little sense…

Turkey is the only realistic place to expect these radars to be placed, so the real story would seem to be what sort of concessions Washington and Ankara are making to come to an agreement. We’ll see if any of that comes out of Clinton’s visit.

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