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Quick Facts: US and the Libya Invasion

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TEHRAN, March 23 (ICANA) – An American F-15 fighter jet has crashed in Libya amid growing criticism against the U.S. presence in the oil-rich North Africa country both from within and outside the United States.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2:17:19 PM
Quick Facts: US and the Libya Invasion

The U.S. joined a coalition of western forces led by France in enforcing the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for a ban on all flights in the country’s airspace — a no-fly zone — and tightened sanctions on the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and its supporters.

 

Highlights

 

Adopting UNSC Resolution 1973 by a vote of 10 in favor to none against, with 5 abstentions the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country.

There were no opposing votes on the 15-member council, but China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil abstained. Germany said it was concerned about a protracted military conflict. CNN

The United States and its allies have run into some criticism for the intensity of the firepower unleashed on Libya. rferl.org

And political debate is growing on the international stage about how far UN authorization allows air strikes to go. rferl.org

US President Barack Obama says the U.S. is looking forward to withdrawing its forces from Libya and handing over responsibility to foreign forces.

"But, obviously, our military is already very stretched and carries large burdens all around the world. And whenever possible for us to be able to get international cooperation -- not just in terms of words, but also in terms of planes and pilots and resources -- that's something that we should actively seek and embrace, because it relieves the burden on our military and it relieves the burden on U.S. taxpayers to fulfill what is an international mission and not simply a U.S. mission," he said. Whitehouse.gov

 

Robert Gates: No-fly zone not ‘wise’

 

Before the no-fly zone was adopted, a number of senior U.S. officials including Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned about the consequences of such a decision. NY Times

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates warned Congress earlier in the March that even a more modest effort to establish a no-flight zone over Libya would have to begin with an attack on the country’s air defenses and would require “a big operation in a big country.” NY Times

"This is not a question of whether we or our allies can do this. We can do it," Gates told reporters aboard his plane after a visit to Bahrain. "The question is whether it's a wise thing to do and that's the discussion that's going on at a political level," he said. Times of India

Clinton: No-fly zone means bombing raids

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya would require bombing raids — one of several options being debated by the U.N. Security Council. Clinton made the comments in March 17 while visiting neighboring Tunisia. NPR

 

“A no-fly zone requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defense systems,” Clinton said in Tunis, her last stop on a trip that also took her to Cairo and Paris. Politico

 

Opposition to Libya assault grows

 

The military action against Libya has been criticized by many officials with some calling it contrary to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

 

Arab League: Pounding Libya contradicts no-fly zone

 

Arab League chief Amr Moussa called for an emergency meeting of the group of 22 states to discuss Libya. He requested a report into the bombardment which he said had "led to the deaths and injuries of many Libyan civilians." coastaldigest

"What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians," Egypt's official state news agency quoted Moussa as saying. coastaldigest

 

Putin: No-fly zone flawed, reminiscent of Crusades

 

Just days after forsaking its chance to veto the United Nations resolution that authorized the air strikes, Russia offered the most jarring commentary, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saying: "The resolution is flawed. It allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state." Independent

 

Russia's prime minister is strongly criticizing the U.N. resolution allowing international use of force in Libya, saying it reminds him of the Crusades. CNS News

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also says the military actions against Libya prove that Russia is correct in its drive to strengthen its own defenses. CNS News

 

China calls for end to military action in Libya

 

China on March 22 reiterated its opposition to the use of force in Libya amid Western air strikes there and called for an immediate ceasefire in the country's conflict. Mysinchew.com

"We oppose the use of force that could result in more civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. Mysinchew.com

China and Russia were the most prominent voices in opposition to military action in Libya within the 15-member United Nations Security Council. Mysinchew.com

 

Rep. Kucinich: Obama could be impeached over Libya, attacks unconstitutional

 

In an exclusive interview with Raw Story on March 21, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) tore into President Barack Obama's decision to order U.S. air strikes against Libya, opening the door for impeachment while emphatically declaring that Obama violated the Constitution. Raw Story

"President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn't have Congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that's got to be said," Kucinich told Raw Story.

"And I'm raising the question as to whether or not it's an impeachable offense. It would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense," Kucinich said. Raw Story

 

US House committee: Military action against Libya unconstitutional

 

A senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee escalated his party's attacks on the Obama's administration's military action in Libya, calling the move unconstitutional. The Hill

“The United States does not have a king's army," Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) said in a statement released Monday evening. "President Obama's unilateral choice to use U.S. military force in Libya is an affront to our Constitution." The Hill

 

Endgame uncertain

 

The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said the no-fly zone was effectively in place. But he told CBS the endgame of military action was "very uncertain" and acknowledged it could end in a stalemate with Gaddafi. Coastaldigest.com

 

Obama defends U.S. air raids against Libya

 

U.S. President Barack Obama on March 21 defended the U.S. military actions against Libya, saying the U.S. military actions are in accordance with the UN resolution adopted to solve the Libya crisis. Xinhua

"Our military actions are supported by the United Nations Security Council, which approved a humanitarian mission in that country," Obama said, adding that Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi "must leave" power. Xinhua

"I am proud of our armed forces' development in Libya. Our army has a lot of work all over the world and now we must receive help from other countries, so we will have an international mission," he said. Xinhua

 

Pentagon says Libya no-fly zone to be extended

 

As the American-led air attack pounded Libya for a third day and Mummer Gaddafi's embattled forces retreated south from Benghazi, the Pentagon said the no-fly zone soon would be extended. LA Times

Coalition forces are carrying out air strikes in Libya for a fourth day, targeting the military infrastructure of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. rferl.org

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the air and missile strikes had caused many civilian casualties by targeting ports and the Sirte airport. rferl.org

U.S. officials say the focus of the operation is now shifting to expand the United Nations-authorized no-fly zone. rferl.org

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