Saturday Apr 23, 201105:40 PM GMT
US carries out first drone attack in Libya
Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:41PM
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The United States has launched its first air strike by unmanned drone planes in Libya on April 23.

 

The Pentagon confirmed the strike, but did not give details of the target.

 

Meanwhile, Libya's Deputy Foreign Minister, Khaled Kaim, said the U.S. decision to deploy unmanned Predator drones to carry out ground strikes would be a crime against humanity. RTE News

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The strike occurred today in the early afternoon local time, the Pentagon said in an e-mailed statement today, without providing further details. U.S. President Barack Obama last week approved the use of Predator drones. Bloomberg

 

Before Saturday's strike, two US Predators were already being used above Libya for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. BBC

 

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said President Barack Obama had approved air strikes in support of the NATO-led mission because that was where the U.S. had "some unique capabilities". BBC

 

The Pentagon spokesman said in an earlier statement that it is "standard procedure not to discuss specifics about UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) missions in any theater of operation." AFP

 

FACTS & FIGURES

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is leading a UN-sanctioned mission to police a no-fly zone, protect civilians and enforce an arms embargo against Qaddafi's government. Bloomberg

 

The cost of the air war in Libya for the U.S. military has reached $608 million, a U.S. defense official said April 11. defensenews.com

 

The Pentagon has estimated the air campaign will cost the United States about $40 million a month, even after NATO allies took the lead in the U.N.-mandated operation designed to protect civilians against Muammar Qaddafi's forces.

 

The stated mission of the U.S. has been to protect Libyan civilians from Qaddafi's military forces but not to attack Qaddafi directly. Obama has said the goal is to give Libyan fighters the opportunity to gain enough strength to oust Qaddafi themselves. Still, Obama and other American officials have called for Qaddafi to step down from power. The Hill

 

The United States has continued bombing Libya since announcing that as of April 4 it would assume just a "supporting role" in the Libya War. Antiwar

 

HJ/KA/DB

 

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