Friday, April 01, 2011

US General Tells Congress That Libyan Military Forces Remain Intact Despite NATO Bombing

Mullen: Gaddafi not at breaking point

Fri Apr 1, 2011 6:15AM

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen says the Gaddafi military is not at the breaking point despite US-led airstrikes on Libya.

Mullen claimed that the US-led bombing campaign has reduced Libya's military capacity by 20 to 25 percent, including almost eliminating its air power and air defenses.

"That doesn't mean he's about to break from a military standpoint, because that simply is not the case," he told US lawmakers on Thursday.

The US military's top officer added that the strength of Gaddafi's armed forces is still superior to opposition forces.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also announced that NATO forces took over operational control on Thursday morning, ending nearly three weeks of attacks led by the United States.

Mullen estimated that Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, now in charge of the NATO operation, has 25 ships and 220 aircraft at his disposal. He also emphasized that military support has come from Arab nations such as Qatar and the UAE as well.

This is while the latest US-led airstrikes targeting Libyan capital of Tripoli have reportedly killed at least 40 civilians.

US, British, French, Canadian, Danish and Belgian warplanes have attacked Libya since March 19 under UN Security Council resolution 1973 that authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

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