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article imageUS General says NATO's military mission in Libya nearly complete

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 2, 2011 in World
U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham says NATO's military mission in Libya could start to end next week. He added that Gaddafi's capture is a matter for the Libyans to deal with.
NATO’s military mission in Libya is nearly complete and could begin to wind down as early as next week. U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham has stated that NATO’s involvement could start to cease after allied commanders meet in Brussels next week, according to USA Today.
NATO has successfully fulfilled its remit to ensure a no fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians, thus leaving the National Transitional Council in control of the country. Ham reiterated the point that NATO’s mission had nothing to do with regime change, by stressing it was not the responsibility of the NATO mission to ensure that ousted leader Col. Gaddafi is captured. He said “The fact that he is still at large some place is really more a matter for the Libyans than it is for anybody else.” Britain is however committed to tracking down Gaddafi as Prime Minister David Cameron made a pledge on his recent visit to Tripoli to “help to find Gaddafi and bring him to justice.” NTC rebel fighters cannot declare an outright victory whilst Gaddafi remains at large.
Interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said last week that NATO should stay until civilians are no longer being killed, the Washington Post reported. However it is difficult to determine who is currently responsible for continued civilian deaths in the country. Al Arabaiya reported that two children and their parents were killed on Saturday attempting to flee Sirte but it was uncertain who killed them. Civilians in Sirte are currently caught in the cross fire between NTC rebel troops and pro-Gaddafi loyalist fighters, whilst subject to NATO bombing raids.
Ham did not elaborate on NATO’s plans if the fighting in Sirte, which has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, is not resolved by the time the NATO commanders meet in Brussels.
More about Nato, Libya, Army Gen Carter Ham, Libya's NTC, Gaddafi
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