Pentagon Tallies Coalition Actions in Libya

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 — By the fifth day of coali­tion task force oper­a­tions sup­port­ing a no-fly zone in Libya and pro­tect­ing Libyan civil­ians, the 13-nation alliance had flown more than 300 sor­ties in the North African coun­try, Pen­ta­gon offi­cials said yes­ter­day.
By 3 p.m. EDT yes­ter­day, the Unit­ed States had flown 212 sor­ties, oth­er coali­tion sor­ties totaled 124, and Tom­a­hawk mis­sile launch­es num­bered 162, offi­cials said.

Offi­cials said the 336 sor­ties includ­ed 108 strike sor­ties, mean­ing they encoun­tered oppo­si­tion from Moam­mar Gadhafi’s forces.

The Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil passed Res­o­lu­tion 1973 on March 17, demand­ing an end to vio­lence against Libyan cit­i­zens and autho­riz­ing enforce­ment of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Task Force Odyssey Dawn, includ­ing forces from the Unit­ed States, the Unit­ed King­dom, France, Italy, Cana­da and Arab states, imme­di­ate­ly shift­ed from human­i­tar­i­an and refugee evac­u­a­tion mis­sions under way since March 4 to mil­i­tary air oper­a­tions enforc­ing the res­o­lu­tion.

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Lock­lear III, task force com­man­der, said yes­ter­day the strikes are intend­ed to open the door for inter­na­tion­al and non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance efforts.

Lock­lear said the coalition’s top pri­or­i­ty is pro­tec­tion of civil­ians and civil­ian infra­struc­ture.

With the no-fly zone estab­lished and “robust,” the admi­ral said, “we are look­ing at the bat­tle space as it changes, look­ing at the dis­po­si­tion of … Gadhafi’s forces that are not com­ply­ing with the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion, and we are able to pro­duce more of an effect.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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