Tuesday, April 26, 2011

US, UK concur on Gaddafi compound hit

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L) and British Secretary of Defense Liam Fox (R) make remarks following their meeting at the Pentagon on April 26.

Source: Press TV

The US and British defense secretaries have said that Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's compound was a “legitimate target” for attacks by NATO warplanes.

“We have considered all along command and control centers to be a legitimate target and we have taken those out elsewhere,” AFP quoted US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as saying on Tuesday.

Gates and British Defense Secretary Liam Fox met in Washington on Tuesday to discuss ways to step up military pressure on the Gaddafi regime, the US Defense Department said.

After the meeting, Fox said that opposition forces have gained momentum in their campaign against Gaddafi loyalists, forcing them to retreat.

"We've seen some progress made in Misratah. And it's very clear that the regime is on the back foot," Fox said.

The remarks come a day after NATO warplanes targeted a building inside Gaddafi's compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Several explosions were also heard in central Tripoli earlier and signals of Libya's state TV reportedly cut off after the blasts.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said Italy will expand its role in Libya by allowing its air force to bomb selected military targets.

Senator Lindsey Graham of the US Senate Armed Services Committee has urged NATO and the Obama administration to bomb Gaddafi's stronghold in Tripoli and “cut the head of the snake off.”

The main battlefield is still the besieged city of Misratah, where human rights groups say over 1,000 people have been killed by Gaddafi forces.

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