NATO has established its most intense strikes since the bombing campaign began a couple of months ago. The coalition has already targeted the Libyan Navy, but is now escalating its attacks on Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli.
On Tuesday, a senior United States diplomat for President Barack Obama has invited the Libyan rebels, otherwise identified as the National Transitional Council, to establish an office in Washington, according to Forbes. The group wouldn’t be officially recognized, though.
NATO launched its heaviest strikes against Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli on the same day, reports the Associated Press. The international coalition has increased its airstrikes against the regime, but Gadhafi is holding strong in the west.
Libyan government spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim stated that at least three people were killed and dozens were injured in the NATO airstrikes. NATO stated the attacks were conducted on vehicle storage facilities.
NATO and Russia have agreed to improve ties and cooperate on a number of security issues.
According to Bloomberg News, in a statement issued, commander of the NATO operation, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said that the regime’s security forces are still presenting a significant threat to civilians and that the strikes will persist.
“We have degraded his war machine and prevented a humanitarian catastrophe,” wrote President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron in a local British newspaper, reports Reuters. “And we will continue to enforce the U.N. resolutions with our allies until they are completely complied with."
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, told reporters during his visit to Afghanistan that he hopes a “solution” will eventually come and end all of the fighting and violence that has engulfed Libya.
White House photo by Pete Souza
President Obama speaking about the crisis in Libya
“We are trying to protect the citizens and the population against attacks and to that end, we have taken out a significant amount of Gadhafi's military capacity and we will continue our operation in the high operational tempo,” said Rasmussen. “And I feel confident that this combination of a high military pressure and real political pressure will eventually lead to the collapse of the regime.”
This augmented bombardment comes a week after NATO forces stepped up efforts against the Libyan Navy in Al Khums, Sirte and Tripoli. In one overnight raid, at least eight pro-Gadhafi vessels were attacked.
“All NATO’s targets are military in nature and are directly linked to the Qadhafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan people,” said Deputy Commander Operation Unified Protector, Rear-Admiral Russell Harding. “Given the escalating use of naval assets, NATO had no choice but to take decisive action to protect the civilian population of Libya and NATO forces at sea.”