NATO intensifies attack on Libya

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In the ongoing attempt to force Muammar Gaddafi from power, NATO aircraft struck at least 15 targets in central Tripoli early yesterday morning.

Libyan state TV station Jamahiriya says nineteen people are dead and 150 more are wounded in what was the largest NATO bombing of Libya yet. The strike lasted 30 minutes and targeted a military facility that had been used to attack civilians, according to a NATO official who spoke with Reuters.

The bombings are part of the U.S. initiative to remove Gaddafi from power, which has since been taken over by NATO. The campaign to halt Gaddafi's 41-year rule of Libya began in response to violent action taken against a public uprising in March. The United Nations approved the NATO bombing campaign to protect Libyan citizens in the civil war.

While the air strikes on the current Libyan regime are being increased, the rebels accepted the U.S. invitation yesterday to open an office in Washington. This does not indicate formal recognition, but it may indicate that the U.S. is following the lead of France and other countries in partnering with the Libyan opposition.

Despite the rebel forces possessing much of eastern Libya and the intensifying attacks on Gaddafi's government, no breakthrough seems imminent in the battle for power, according to the The New York Times.

Gaddafi scoffs at NATO's attacks, claiming he is untouchable as he "lives in the hearts of millions".