Assault on Benghazi stopped
LIBYAN leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces are ‘‘ no longer marching on Benghazi,’’ top US military commander Michael Mullen says.
‘‘ They are no longer marching on Benghazi,’’ Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC News.
He added that the initial part of an international operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya ‘‘ has been successful’’.
The comments came after the United States, Britain and France unleashed a barrage of strikes against the Libyan regime’s air defences, but ruled out using ground troops in what President Barack Obama called a ‘‘ limited military action’’.
In a dramatic show of force, US warships and a British submarine fired at least 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya against Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft missiles and radar early yesterday, the US military said.
Admiral William Gortney told reporters at the Pentagon that the cruise missiles ‘‘ struck more than 20 integrated air defence systems and other air defence facilities ashore’’.
The strikes followed attacks by French warplanes.
CBS News reported last night that three US B-2 stealth bombers had dropped 40 bombs on a major Libyan airfield in an attempt to destroy much of the Libyan Air Force.
The television network also said that at the same time, US Air Force fighter j ets conducted missions searching for Libyan ground forces to attack.
No US aircraft were lost during the missions, the report said. There was no immediate official confir-mation of the operation.
FIRED UP: The US launches a missile targeting radar and anti
aircraft sites along the Libyan coast