[UPDATE] Crisis in Libya: U.S. Launches Missile Strike

By: CBS/ Associated Press
By: CBS/ Associated Press

[UPDATE] 3-20 6:08 PM--

ON BOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Pentagon expects to turn control of the Libya
military mission over to a coalition -- led either by the French and British or by NATO -- "in a matter of days."

In his first public remarks since the start of the bombings, Gates says President Barack Obama feels very strongly about limiting America's role in the operation against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, adding that the president is "more aware than almost anybody of the stress on the military."

While the U.S. "will have a military role in the coalition," Gates says, it "will not have the preeminent role."

Gates' comments came as American ships and aircraft continued to pound Libya, taking out radar, communications and missile sites along its Mediterranean coast.

[UPDATE] 3-20 3:50 PM--

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Anti-aircraft fire has erupted in the Libyan capital, with volleys of tracer fire arching into the air, marking the start of a second night of allied strikes on the country.

There is no immediate word on the targets in the new round of strikes. The heavy chatter of anti-aircraft defenses began soon after nightfall.

The U.S. military says the first air assault by the U.S. and its allies the night before -- including airstrikes by long-range bombers and a shower of Tomahawk cruise missiles -- was successful, though it did not fully eliminate the threat from Libyan air defenses.


[UPDATE] 3-19 9:30 PM --

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- Libyan state TV is quoting the armed forces command as saying 48 people have been killed and 150 wounded in the the allied assault by U.S. and European forces. The report can't be independently confirmed.

The U.S. and European nations have begun pounding Moammar Gadhafi's forces and air defenses with cruise missiles and airstrikes in the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising that had seemed on the verge of defeat.

Libyan TV says most of the casualties are children.

[UPDATE] 3-19 9:30 PM --

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. and British ships and submarines launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses and a senior American defense official said it was believed Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses suffered substantial damage.

In the strikes, 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya's air force.

While U.S. defense officials cautioned that it was too early to fully gauge the impact of the onslaught, the official said that given the precision targeting of the Navy's cruise missiles, they felt that Libya's air defenses suffered a good deal of damage.

The official spoke on grounds of anonymity because the ongoing

[UPDATE] 3-19 4:30 PM --

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pentagon: 112 cruise missiles launched from US
and UK ships and subs, hitting 20 sites

[UPDATE] 3-19 4:25 PM --

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two U.S. officials say American ships and aircraft are poised for military action against Libya, but they aren't participating in the initial French air missions over the North African nation.

One U.S. official says the Navy is planning a sea-launched missile attack from the Mediterranean against elements of Libya's coastal air defenses.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of military operations.

One official says the U.S. intends to limit its involvement -- at least in the initial stages -- to helping protect French and other air missions by taking out Libyan air defenses.

The official says that depending on how Libyan forces respond, the U.S. could launch additional attacks in support of allied forces.

[UPDATE] 3-19 4:25 PM --

PARIS (AP) -- A French official says a French fighter jet has fired on a Libyan military vehicle, in a first reported strike in the international campaign to enforce a no-fly zone.

A French Defense Ministry spokesman, Thierry Burkhard, says the strike was reported around 1645 GMT Saturday.

Burkhard says the target was confirmed as a military vehicle, but it was not clear what kind.

That word comes shortly after top officials from the United States, Europe and the Arab world announced immediate military action to protect civilians as Gadhafi's forces attacked Benghazi.

[UPDATE] 3-19 4:17 PM--

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the United States has launched a limited military action in Libya against the forces of Moammar Gadhafi.

The president, speaking during a visit to Brazil, said the United States and its allies had not sought this outcome but that Gadhafi had given the West no choice. In Obama's words: "We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy."

Obama says he is aware of the risks of taking military action. He declared once again that the United States will not send ground forces into Libya.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military has launched a missile attack against Libya's air defenses.

A senior U.S. military official says the strike was aimed at sites along the Libyan coast. The missiles were launched from U.S. Navy vessels in the Mediterranean.

The official says the assault would unfold in stages and strike at air defense installations around Tripoli, the capital, and a coastal area south of Benghazi. That's the rebel stronghold under attack by Muammar Gadhafi's forces.

Complete details were not immediately available.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive military operations.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM
    Is Cindy Sheehan camped out on the front lawn yet?
  • by GV Location: Ga on Mar 21, 2011 at 07:15 AM
    About time obammy made the right decision on something.Now if he'll juast finish the job.We need to take the most evil man in the world out.Should have been done along time ago.I ran needs to be next.The obammy regime seems to like to make the best out of a crisis.Well they need to use the crisis in Japan to take out Iran because as soon as they develope their nukes they will unleash destruction 1000 times as what is going on in Japan.
    • reply
      by Lip Cheese on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:43 PM in reply to GV
      I could not have said it better GV.
  • by Lip Cheese on Mar 21, 2011 at 07:14 AM
    Missiles create jobs. Shoot them all and build more!!! Have they been outsourced to China or India yet??
  • by Anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:12 AM
    Where is the money coming from Obomba? Playing world police like the rest of'em. We are broke dude!
  • by @ Demo on Mar 21, 2011 at 04:56 AM
    Please check the facts. During Katrina Japan did send monetary aid. $75 trillion? Are you referring to the USA. WAY off!!!! It is around $14 Trillion. It is still bab but at least get the facts right.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2011 at 08:04 PM
    wonder why he does this now?? simple, look at the gas prices, they were starting to come back down. he wants gas at $4.50 a gallon or higher. He has already stated that gas should be taxed to keep it at 4.50 a gallon. He says that way, americans would not drive so much. Looks like he can't get a tax passed, so he starts a war to keep the prices up. Go obama. looks like change has driven us to bankrupcy and war.
    • reply
      by AWalker on Mar 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM in reply to
      Maybe if gas is very high and people walk more then health care can go down. I park the car and walk or ride a bike just for the health of it and it saves me gas money.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 at 07:15 PM in reply to
      We were already in 2 wars and well on our way to bankruptcy when Obama became president.
  • by Patriot Location: USA on Mar 20, 2011 at 07:56 AM
    The only way to stabalize the world is to completely wipe out middle east countries and their rulers. They serve no humanatarian role globaly, the only time you hear about them is when and its fairly common is when they are doing damage to the world as a whole. When is the last time you heard about them playing a role after a natural disaster struck a country -- NEVER. Do you see any support of any kind from Arab countries helping Japan or anyone else for that matter, no they are to busy killing and destroying. Global thugs is what they are that need exterminating.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2011 at 06:40 AM
    Oh my, does this mean they take back the peace prize?
  • by ArmyWife Location: SouthGa on Mar 20, 2011 at 03:55 AM
    @Ed in Tallahassee. You are so right about that. We will have some Obama fan who will want to point their finger at Bush though. Even when this mess didnt start when he was in office.
    • reply
      by Homeland Pride on Mar 21, 2011 at 11:23 AM in reply to ArmyWife
      Look at all the other messes Bush and the other presidents (white) put our country in. It very funny how amnesia set in for most of you all. This country was in a mess before Obama got in office. Boy, how soon do yall forget.
  • by Future RN Location: Southwood on Mar 20, 2011 at 02:15 AM
    As a registered Democrat I fully support President Obama on some of his issues. However, I do not agree at all with the decision he made to strike Libya. Like previous posters have said, our government has enough business to take care of right here in the U.S. We should not snoop into Libya's business. Let them handle it!
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