Friday, March 25, 2011
NATO Assumes Responsibility for No-fly Zone Over Libya
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
“We are taking action as part of the broad international effort to protect civilians against the attacks by the [Moammar] Gadhafi regime,” Rasmussen said in a statement released today. “We will cooperate with our partners in the region and welcome their contributions.”
All NATO allies are committed to fulfill their obligations under the U.N. resolution, Rasmussen said. “That is why we have decided to assume responsibility for the no-fly zone,” He added.
this evening after meetings at the White House, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said a wide range of nations has responded to the Libyan people’s needs. Washington
“When the Libyan people sought to realize their democratic aspirations, they were met by extreme violence from their own government,”
said. “The Libyan people appealed to the world to help stop the brutal attacks on them, and the world listened.” Clinton
Hundreds of thousands of civilians were in danger, the secretary said, and an international coalition responded. “After only five days, we have made significant progress,” she said. “A massacre in
was prevented. Gadhafi's air force and air defenses have been rendered largely ineffective. And the coalition is in control of the skies above Benghazi .” Libya
Humanitarian relief is beginning to reach the people who need it, she said, noting, “At least 18 doctors and nurses from an organization funded by the United States Agency for International Development [are] in Benghazi … beginning to provide support to the city's main hospital.”
President Barack Obama stressed that the
military’s actions “would be limited in time and scope,” U.S. said. “Our mission has been to use Clinton 's unique capabilities to create the conditions for the no-fly zone, and to assist in meeting urgent humanitarian needs.” America
and its NATO allies agreed to transition command and control for the no-fly zone over United States to NATO, Libya said. Clinton
“This coalition includes countries beyond NATO, including Arab partners, and we expect all of them to [provide] important political guidance going forward,” she said.
Arab leadership and participation is the coalition is crucial, she said.
“The Arab League showed that leadership with its pivotal statement on
,” Libya said. “We are deeply appreciative of their continuing contributions, including aircrafts and pilots from Clinton .” Qatar
This evening the
announced it will join the coalition and send planes to help protect Libyan civilians and enforce the no-fly zone, the secretary said. United Arab Emirates
“We welcome this important step,” she added. “It underscores both the breadth of this international coalition and the depth of concern in the region for the plight of the Libyan people.”
As NATO assumes command-and-control responsibilities, the welfare of Libyan civilians will be of paramount concern, she said.
“Our military will continue to provide support to our efforts to make sure that Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 will be enforced,”
said. “It is an effort that we believe is very important, and we'll look forward to coordinating closely with all those nations that are participating.” Clinton