My Google Page Rank

Gadhafi vows to fight as strikes hit his forces

PDFPrintE-mail

TRIPOLI, Libya – Moammar Gadhafi vowed a "long war" as allied forces launched a second night of strikes on Libya, and jubilant rebels who only a day before were in danger of being crushed by his forces now boasted they would bring him down. The U.S. military said the international assault would hit any Gadhafi forces on the ground that are attacking the opposition.

In an attack that carried as much symbolism as military effect, late Sunday a cruise missile blasted a building in Gadhafi's residential compound, near his iconic tent. It was not known where Gadhafi was at the time, but it seemed to show that while the allies trade nuances over whether his fall is a goal of their campaign — he is not safe.

An Associated Press photographer escorted to the scene by the Libyan government said half of the round, three-story administration building was knocked down, smoke was rising from it and pieces of the missile were scattered around the scene. About 300 Gadhafi supporters were in the compound at the time. It was not known if any were hurt.

The U.S. military said the bombardment so far — a rain of Tomahawk cruise missiles and precision bombs from American and European aircraft, including long-range stealth B-2 bombers — had succeeded in heavily degrading Gadhafi's air defenses.

In addition to targeting anti-aircaft sites, U.S., British and French planes blasted a line of tanks that had been moving on the rebel capital Benghazi, in the opposition-held eastern half of the country. On Sunday, at least seven demolished tanks smoldered in a field 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Benghazi, many of them with their turrets and treads blown off, alongside charred armored personnel carriers, jeeps and SUVs of the kind used by Gadhafi fighters.

"I feel like in two days max we will destroy Gadhafi," said Ezzeldin Helwani, 35, a rebel standing next to the smoldering wreckage of an armored personnel carrier, the air thick with smoke and the pungent smell of burning rubber. In a grisly sort of battle trophy, celebrating fighters hung a severed goat's head with a cigarette in its mouth from the turret of one of the gutted tanks.

The strikes that began early Sunday gave immediate, if temporary, relief to Benghazi, which the day before had been under a heavy attack that killed at least 120 people. The city's calm on Sunday highlighted the dramatic turnaround that the allied strikes bring to Libya's month-old upheaval: For the past 10 days, Gadhafi's forces had been on a triumphant offensive against the rebel-held east, driving opposition fighters back with the overwhelming firepower of tanks, artillery, warplanes and warships.

Now Gadhafi's forces are potential targets for U.S. and European strikes. The U.N. resolution authorizing international military action in Libya not only sets up a no-fly zone but allows "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks on civilians.

But the U.S. military, for the time being at the lead of the international campaign, is trying to walk a fine line over the end game of the assault. It is avoiding for now any appearance that it aims to take out Gadhafi or help the rebels oust him, instead limiting its stated goals to protecting civilians.
At the Pentagon, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney underlined that strikes are not specifically targeting the Libyan leader or his residence in Tripoli. He said that any of Gadhafi's ground forces advancing on the rebels were open targets.

"If they are moving on opposition forces ... yes, we will take them under attack," he told reporters.

"We judge these strikes to have been very effective in significantly degrading the regime's air defense capability," Gortney said. "We believe his forces are under significant stress and suffering from both isolation and a good deal of confusion."

A military official said Air Force B-2 stealth bombers flew 25 hours in a round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and dropped 45 2,000-pound bombs.

What happens if rebel forces eventually go on the offensive against Gadhafi's troops remains unclear. Gortney would not say whether strikes would hit Libyan troops fighting back against rebel assaults.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said late Sunday that the U.S. expects turn over control of the operation to a coalition headed by France, Britain or NATO "in a matter of days," reflecting concern that the U.S. military was stretched thin by its current missions. Turkey was blocking NATO action, which requires agreement by all 28 members of the alliance.

Sunday night, heavy anti-aircraft fire erupted repeatedly in the capital, Tripoli, with arcs of red tracer bullets and exploding shells in the dark sky — marking the start of a second night of international strikes. Gadhafi supporters in the streets shot automatic weapons in the air in a show of defiance. It was not immediately known what was being targeted in the new strikes.

Libyan army spokesman Col. Milad al-Fokhi said Libyan army units had been ordered to cease fire at 9 p.m. local time, but the hour passed with no letup in military activity.

Gadhafi vowed to fight on. In a phone call to Libyan state television Sunday, he said he would not let up on Benghazi and said the government had opened up weapons depots to all Libyans, who were now armed with "automatic weapons, mortars and bombs." State television said Gadhafi's supporters were converging on airports as human shields.

"We promise you a long war," he said.

Throughout the day Sunday, Libyan TV showed a stream of what it said were popular demonstrations in support of Gadhafi in Tripoli and other towns and cities. It showed cars with horns blaring, women ululating, young men waving green flags and holding up pictures of the Libyan leader. Women and children chanted, "God, Moammar and Libya, that's it!"

"Our blood is green, not red," one unidentified woman told the broadcaster, referring to the signature color of Gadhafi's regime. "He is our father, we will be with him to the last drop of blood. Our blood is green with our love for him."

(Lucas reported from Benghazi, Libya. Associated Press writers Maggie Michael in Cairo and Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.)




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Guard loses motorcycle to robbers

19 Nov 2018 Hits:75 Be the first to comment!

A security guard of a telecommunication company was robbed by three suspects wearing bonnets who took his motorcycle at the PLDT tower site in Barangay Mercedes, Zamboanga City on Saturday. According to police report, the victim identified as Ryan Coralat y Delacalsada, 25, single, a resident of Barangay Sangali, was on duty when the suspects arrived and poked a handgun and a knife at him. The victim told the personnel of Police Station 3 that at about 3:40 in the morning, the armed suspects suddenly arrived and took his Honda XRM color black motorcycle bearing plate number SB 8422, then hurriedly sped towards unknown direction after the incident. A thorough investigation is being conducted by the investigator-on-case, PO3 Jova Agustin, to identify the [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

THANK GOD! It’s FRIDAY!

16 Nov 2018 Hits:88 Be the first to comment!

For the Tetuan Parish, that very common expression means literally just that, for on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 7 in the evening at the Centro Pastoral, the concert UN [...] Read more


Man stabbed in Rio Hondo

16 Nov 2018 Hits:106 Be the first to comment!

A bakery worker was stabbed and wounded by his co-worker in Sitio Hongkong, Barangay Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City on Wednesday night. Police Officer 3 Had-Anuar Edding, investigator-on-case, of Police Station 11 [...] Read more


Three nabbed for illegal drugs

16 Nov 2018 Hits:143 Be the first to comment!

Three persons were arrested when operatives of Police Station 9 seized from them 13 sachets of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation at Barangay Recodo, Zamboanga City on Thursday dawn. Arrested [...] Read more


DOH 9 conducts training on GI, community-based treatment for PWUDs

15 Nov 2018 Hits:150 Be the first to comment!

The Department of Health Region IX (DOH 9) conducted the Training on General Intervention (GI) and Community-based Treatment Care Services for Person Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) from November 13-15, 2018. With [...] Read more


DENR-EMB 9 conducts SWM plan finalization of ZamPen LGUs

14 Nov 2018 Hits:169 Be the first to comment!

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Region IX is conducting a 10-year Solid Waste Management (SWM) plan update and finalization of 33 local government units (LGUs) [...] Read more


Man accused of child abuse, arrested

13 Nov 2018 Hits:207 Be the first to comment!

Two teenagers filed a complaint for child abuse against a 55-year-old man at Police Station 7 last Sunday. Ellyn, married, a resident of Barangay Pasonanca, Zamboanga City, averred to the police [...] Read more


Brgy Chair nabs pedicab driver carrying shabu

13 Nov 2018 Hits:147 Be the first to comment!

A delivery boy was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by elements of Police Station 4 led by Chief Insp. Hazel Fernandez at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City  on Sunday. Police identified [...] Read more


Navforwem honors fleet-marine troops for rescue of KV Duterte

13 Nov 2018 Hits:222 Be the first to comment!

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) has honored sailors, marines, Fleet-Marine personnel and navies for the successful rescue of kidnapped victim (KV) Jose Duterte and exceptional feats in the accomplishment [...] Read more


Police searching for armed man for mauling

12 Nov 2018 Hits:150 Be the first to comment!

A resident of Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City, is now being hunted by personnel of Police Station 6 for mauling and totting his gun at another person on Sunday. Police report shows [...] Read more


Team Climaco condemns misinformation, fake news

09 Nov 2018 Hits:361 Be the first to comment!

Members of the Team Climaco have strongly criticized and condemned misinformation drive allegedly hatched by their political foes and propagandists, who are desperate to destroy the many and outstanding accomplishments [...] Read more


Man hacked by father-in-law

09 Nov 2018 Hits:163 Be the first to comment!

A man was hacked and wounded by his father-in-law at Sibiktol Drive, Barangay Arena Blanco, Zamboanga City, on Wednesday. The victim was identified as Jarrin Jalmaani y Gadong, married and a [...] Read more


More Filipinos to be engaged in HIV-AIDS awareness drive

08 Nov 2018 Hits:208 Be the first to comment!

The right information on HIV-AIDS will curb the spread of this disease. But putting information out there isn’t enough, a senior government official believes. There has to be constant engagement [...] Read more


CHO: Fear of Dengvaxia prevents children from getting vaccines

07 Nov 2018 Hits:276 Be the first to comment!

Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Kibtiya Uddin reported that the fear of Dengvaxia vaccine has prevented children from getting other types of vaccines during City Hall's weekly press conference on [...] Read more


Army officer, 3 soldiers injured in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

07 Nov 2018 Hits:320 Be the first to comment!

An Army officer and three more soldiers were wounded in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu province on Monday afternoon. Lt. Col. Gerry Besana,  spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command [...] Read more


Beng distributes relief goods to Triplet fire victims

18 Oct 2018 Hits:274 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco on Wednesday afternoon spearheaded the distribution of relief goods to families displaced by the early dawn fire in Lemon Drive, Triplet, Barangay Canelar. Mayor Climaco, assisted by personnel [...] Read more


DTI reports slight hike in prices of basic goods

18 Oct 2018 Hits:250 Be the first to comment!

Following its continuing monitoring of prices of all consumable goods in the local markets, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reported a slight increase in the prices of [...] Read more


OCENR preps SWM in barangays, basura run

18 Oct 2018 Hits:229 Be the first to comment!

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) is working to strengthen the capacities of local barangays in line with sanitation, particularly solid waste management. Public Services Officer IV [...] Read more


Mayor Beng files candidacy, vows to continue pro-poor programs

17 Oct 2018 Hits:282 Be the first to comment!

In an expected sea of supporters to join her today, popular Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco is scheduled to file her certificate of candidacy for re-election this morning at the [...] Read more