VARIOUS: U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney says coalition is using "every tool" to tell forces loyal to...
- Title: VARIOUS: U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney says coalition is using "every tool" to tell forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to cease attacks
- Date: 25th March 2011
- Summary: NEAR BENGHAZI, LIBYA (MARCH 20, 2011) (REUTERS) REBEL FIGHTERS OBSERVING EXPLOSIONS ON ROAD REBEL FIGHTER CARRYING GUN, LOOKING DOWN ROAD
- Reuters ID: LVA778FM9DCH8FYNTVH8JUWWLH17
- Location: At Sea, Usa, Libya
- Country: Usa Libya At Sea
- Duration: 00:00:11
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: War / Fighting,Defence / Military
- Story Text: The coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over over Libya is using "every tool we have available" to tell Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces to cease fire and stop any attacks on civilians, Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said on Thursday (March 24).
"We're using every tool that we have available in our toolkit," he told reporters at the Pentagon.
Coalition forces hammered Muammar Gaddafi's military with Tomahawk cruise missiles and air strikes as it pressed its demand for his supporters to stop fighting and halt attacks on civilians, Gortney said.
"We're telling them as long as the forces continue to threaten or attack the Libyan people, they're going to be subject to attack and so our message is don't follow the regime's orders, don't attack the people, just cease fighting, stay in place, abandon your equipment, but if you threaten the Libyan people, attack the Libyan people, we're going to take you under attack," he said.
The coalition had fired 14 Tomahawk missiles overnight and flown 130 sorties. In addition to policing the no-fly zone, they targeted an air defense site near Tripoli, a Scud missile battery in the south and Gaddafi's troops maneuvering near Misrata and Ajdabiya, Gortney said, referring during the news conference to a map showing locations where the strikes have focused.
Asked whether any forces loyal to Gaddafi had actually heeded the coalition's demands, Gortney said he was not aware of that happening and declined to specify how the coalition was communicating its message.
Gortney, director of the military's Joint Staff, said The United States is working hard to hand over leadership of the coalition to some other entity, possibly as early as this weekend.
"No one in the U.S. military is underestimating the challenge here. Even as we transition the lead of this effort to a different command structure, we will continue to provide our partners the enabling capabilities they need to enforce the UN mandate."
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