As­sault on Benghazi stopped

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

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

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