Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya: Update from MoD

Operations in Libya having a very real effect

A Military Operations news article

22 Mar 11

Coalition operations against Colonel Gaddafi's forces are having a very real effect in protecting the city of Benghazi, Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, said today, Tuesday 22 March 2011.

A Royal Air Force Tornado

A Royal Air Force Tornado takes off from RAF Marham
[Picture: Corporal Brad Hanson, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

General Lorimer was speaking at a media briefing in the MOD's Main Building in London.

The full briefing is as follows:

"As we enter the fourth day of Operation ELLAMY, we are still conducting detailed assessment of the effects of military action against specific military targets. In any case, you will understand that at this time it would not be wise to disclose to Colonel Gaddafi precisely how well we believe we have performed in degrading his command and control network and his integrated air defence system.

"But on a broader level, we have the best possible indication that this operation is having a very real effect; namely the protection of Benghazi from Colonel Gaddafi's forces.

"Last Friday, you will recall that regime troops were on the outskirts of Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya and home to more than 670,000 civilians. Colonel Gaddafi vowed that his men would be going from house to house, room to room, to burn out the opposition. Libyan troops were reportedly committing atrocities in outlying areas of the city.

"The military intervention to enforce UNSCR [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 1973 has stopped that attack in its tracks. That is not to say that all threat to innocent life in and around Benghazi, or other cities for that matter, has been wholly removed. It has not. But the very fact that many of your news organisations are still able to have correspondents reporting freely in the heart of Benghazi is in itself testament to the immediate effect that this operation has had in blunting Colonel Gaddafi's assault on his own people.

"The number of countries conducting military operations to enforce the resolution continues to grow. US, French, Danish, Italian and British aircraft were yesterday joined on patrol over Libya by Spanish F-18s for the first time. The operation remains under US command....

More on the General's briefing here.

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