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Mar 20th, 2011

Gadhafi Vows ‘Long War’ After U.S., Allies Strike

Cruise missile hits building in Libyan leader’s compound


Allies intensify barrage of Gadhafi’s forces (NBC Nightly News, March 20, 2011) — A trail of burned-out tanks, trucks and cars along the road to Benghazi provides dramatic evidence that the U.S. military operation has escalated well beyond the no-fly zone. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports. (03:30)

Reuters via
March 20, 2011

TRIPOLI — Moammar Gadhafi vowed a “long war” as allied forces launched a second night of strikes on Libya on Sunday, 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.

An administration building a few yards from Gadhafi’s tent in his huge personal compound was hit and badly damaged late Sunday. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said half of the round, three-story building was knocked down, smoke was rising from it and pieces of a cruise 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.

A senior U.S. defense official told NBC News that the strike on the Gadhafi compound was not from American forces. A U.S. official later confirmed to NBC News that British forces targeted the compound. Earlier Sunday, the U.K. Ministry of Defense announced that a British submarine launched Tomahawk missiles. …

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 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. …

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 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. …

In Benghazi, the rebel capital and first city to fall to the uprising that began Feb. 15, residents were celebrating the dramatic turn of events. The day before, Gadhafi’s forces pounded the city of around 700,000 with artillery and tank shells and punched through the outskirts in heavy street battles. Along the tree-lined road into Benghazi, buildings riddled with pockmarks and burnt-out cars, buses and tanks gave testimony to the ferocity of the fighting. …

A Libyan rebel empties the pockets of an African teenage member of Muammer Gadhafi’s forces lying among debris in al-Wayfiyah, 35 km west of Benghazi after being hit by French warplanes on March 20. (Photo credit: Patrick Baz / AFP — Getty Images)

Outside the city, hundreds of men roamed the wreckage of the tanks and army vehicles hit by the allied strikes. Shredded blankets, torn foam mattresses and empty cans of tomato paste littered the field.

“Thank you, France. Thank you, America,” said Abdul-Gader Dejuli as he surveyed the wreckage. “Obama good, Sarkozy good.” …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Photo credit: Goran Tomasevic / Reuters)

Libya Air War Begins (March 19, 2011)

NATO Ultimatum to Gadhafi (March 18, 2011)

Libya No-Fly Zone, Airstrikes Imminent (March 17, 2011)

Gadhafi Steers Libya to Civil War (Feb. 22, 2011)

Deadly Crackdown in Libya (Feb. 20, 2011)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — March 20, 2010

AfPak Foreign Policy Success

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

One year ago today, I reported that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy appeared to be working in one area vital to U.S. national security: Pakistan.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — March 20, 2009

Should We Turn Our Back on AIG?

The American International Building (AIG) in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Financial analysts and federal officials warned that doing nothing to save AIG — or banks or the auto industry — would have led to catastrophe: an economic domino effect of bank losses, stock market chaos, and job cuts. (Photo credit: Timothy A. Clary / AFP — Getty Images)

Two years ago today, on March 20, 2009, I examined what might have happened during the 2008 economic meltdown if companies deemed “too big to fail” had been allowed to do just that.

3 Responses to “Gadhafi Suffers Heavy Losses”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Gadhafi Kin Killed in Airstrike Says:

    […] Gadhafi Suffers Heavy Losses (March 20, 2011) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Moammar Gadhafi Dead Says:

    […] Gadhafi Suffers Heavy Losses (March 20, 2011) […]

  3. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Battle for Tripoli Has Begun Says:

    […] Gadhafi Suffers Heavy Losses (March 20, 2011) […]

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