Sunday, March 20, 2011

West's strikes on Libya hit Arab League criticism


(Reuters) - Western forces pounded Libya's air defenses and patrolled its skies on Sunday, but their day-old intervention hit a diplomatic setback as the Arab League chief condemned the "bombardment of civilians."
As European and U.S. forces unleashed warplanes and cruise missiles against Muammar Gaddafi's air defenses and armor, the Libyan leader said the air strikes amounted to terrorism and vowed to fight to the death.
While his eastern forces fled from the outskirts of Benghazi in the face of the allied air attacks, Gaddafi sent tanks into Misrata, the last rebel-held city in western Libya. Among the densely packed houses full of civilians, they were less vulnerable to attack from the air.
A Libyan government health official said 64 people had been killed in the Western bombardment overnight, but it was impossible to verify the report as government minders refused to take reporters in Tripoli to the sites of the bombings.
On Sunday evening heavy anti-aircraft fire could be heard over central Tripoli for a second night.
Read the full report on Reuters http://reut.rs/gB5kH6 
I understand the Arab Leagues concerns, however the intention of the coalition is not to bomb innocent civilians.  Without confirmation, could we not assume that Gaddafi may have forced civilians into areas pinpointed for attack.  This type of tactic would not be unprecedented.  As noted earlier in the article, Gaddafi is moving tanks into heavily populated areas of Misrata, clearly without regard for the his own people.  I certainly hope that this is not the case.