Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NATO Aims to Rattle Qaddafi With Increased Airstrikes, Attacks on Compound

NATO is intensifying airstrikes against Muammar Qaddafi's forces and selecting targets closer to the Libyan leader in an effort to break a military stalemate between loyalists and rebels, military officials said.

U.K. Defense Secretary Liam Fox said this week's North Atlantic Treaty Organization strike that flattened part of Qaddafi's main compound in Tripoli was meant to "increase the psychological pressure" on the Libyan dictator. Fox met U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates yesterday in Washington.

The attacks on the compound will make Qaddafi "realize that this is something that he is involved in -- and I think that's very important in terms of the pressure we can bring on the regime itself," Fox said on PBS's "NewsHour."

The military alliance has boosted its firepower in the last week with additional Italian ground-attack warplanes and armed U.S. Predator drones. Western leaders say that attacks have helped set back Libyan army attempts to capture Misrata, even as regime forces bombard the city's port and the rebel advance from the oil-rich east remains tangled in running battles along the Mediterranean coast.


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