इंडियन आवाज़     01 Dec 2023 12:48:34      انڈین آواز

Coalition continues pounding Gaddafi’s forces

very close to his private residence in Tripoli. The missile launched during operations by the US and European forces to patrol the no-fly zone destroyed Gaddafi’s command and control capability inside the Libyan leader’s compound at Bab el-Aziziya in south of capital Tripoli.

It was unclear where Gaddafi was at the time of the strike on his air defences which were carried out as part of a renewed allied assault on Libya involving British submarines and RAF Tornado jets.

The three-storey administrative building which was flattened is about 50 metres from Gaddafi’s iconic tent where the Libyan strongman generally meets guests in Tripoli.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told media who were taken to the site by bus that it was a barbaric bombing which could have hit hundreds of civilians gathered at the residence of Muammar Gaddafi about 400 metres away from the building which was hit.

Smoke was seen rising from within the heavily fortified compound which houses Gaddafi’s private quarters as well as military barracks and other installations.

Pentagon spokesman Vice-Admiral William Gortney said at a news briefing at Washington that Gaddafi, is not on the target list. Gortney also said it had no evidence of civilian casualties in airstrikes by coalition forces over Libya.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Monday said that his country expects to hand over the leadership of the military operations against Libyan regime to a coalition likely to be headed by either the French, the British or NATO in a matter of days. Claiming a strong and successful start of the ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ in Libya, he said several Arab countries are planning to join the military coalition. US-led Western forces had unleashed over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles on military targets in Tripoli and along the Mediterranean coast in last two days.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that the Libya war and revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia should be a warning to authoritarian leaders in the Middle East and North Africa who are still ordering forces to shoot demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Qatar has decided to send four warplanes to join the international air campaign over Libya. Qatar is the first Arab country to do so.

The Qatari decision came despite comments from the Arab League Secretary General, Amr Moussa, questioning the air attacks. The Arab League had supported military action, but Mr. Moussa said western strikes against Libyan forces had gone beyond the objective of implementing the no-fly zone which the Organisation had called for. He said the Arab League had sought protection of civilians, and not the bombardment of more civilians.

Meanwhile, crude prices rose in Asian trade on Monday as Western forces staged air strikes on Libya. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, gained 1.88 USD to 102.95 USD per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for May was up 2.14 USD to 116.07 USD.

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