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WABA
03-21-2011, 12:19 AM
World Watch (http://www.israelmilitary.net/8300-503543_162-503543.html) March 19, 2011 11:09 AM Crisis in Libya: U.S. bombs Qaddafi's airfields



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World Watch (http://www.israelmilitary.net/8300-503543_162-503543.html) March 19, 2011 11:09 AM Crisis in Libya: U.S. bombs Qaddafi's airfields







http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/03/19/Benghazi_110477709_620x350.jpg Smoke billows after a Libyan jet bomber crashed after being shot down in Benghazi on March 19, 2011 as Libya's rebel stronghold came under attack, with at least two air strikes and sustained shelling of the city's south sending thick smoke into the sky.
(Credit: PATRICK BAZ)

Updated 12:28 a.m.
*Three B-2 stealth bombers flying non-stop from the United States have dropped 40 bombs on a major Libyan airfield tonight in an attempt to destroy much of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's air force, CBS News David Martin reports.

At the same time, US Air Force fighter jets conducted missions searching for Libyan ground forces to attack. No US aircraft were lost during the missions.
</I>Libyan state TV is reporting that air strikes have killed 48 people and wounded 150 in "civilian areas." Libyan state TV is controlled by Muammar Qaddafi's government and it was impossible to confirm the reports of civilian deaths Saturday.
* A state department spokesman said no U.S officials remain in Libya. The state department has also advised all Americans in Libya to leave, and for everyone, even journalists, to avoid travel there.
* Al Jazeera reports that Libya has decided to suspend co-operation with Europe in the fight against illegal immigration, state TV citing a security official reported on Sunday.



* Several news outlets are reporting heavy and sustained anti-aircraft fire in Libya's capital, Tripoli, perhaps signaling the start of the second-wave of coalition action there.

* Qaddafi sent two letters today to the coalition partners currently launching strikes inside his country. One was to President Barack Obama, the other to the leaders of France, England and the United Nations. Notice the dramatically different tone between the letters below in translations by the Associated Press.

"To our son, the honorable Barack Hussein Obama: As I have said before, even if, God forbid, there were a war between Libya and America, you would remain my son and I would still love you. I do not want to change the image I have of you. All of the Libyan people are with me, ready to die, even the women and children. We are fighting nothing other than al-Qaida in what they call the Islamic Maghreb. It's an armed group that is fighting from Libya to Mauritania and through Algeria and Mali. ... If you had found them taking over American cities by the force of arms, tell me what you would do?"
"To French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: Libya is not yours. Libya is for the Libyans. The Security Council resolution is invalid because it does not follow the charter regarding the internal affairs of any country. This is terrible oppression, crude aggression. You never have the right to intervene in our internal affairs. Who gave you this right? You will regret it if you dare to intervene in our country. Our country is not your country. We cannot fire a single bullet at our people."
* Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi released a statement (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20045033-503543.html)Saturday, warning that international air and missile strikes inside his country have turned North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea into a "real war zone."
Qaddafi said: "The interests of the involved countries will be subjected to threats as of now in the Mediterranean Sea because of this aggressive, foolish act that's completely unjustifiable, other than it is a mere crusader colonial aggression that aims to launch a second wide ranging crusader campaign."
* (AP) A Libyan journalist who ran a webcast program showing the aftermath of government attacks and commentary on the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi was killed in Saturday's government assault on the rebel capital in the country's east.
Mohammed al-Nabbous, who founded a livestream channel called Libya Al-Hurra, or Free Libya, was hit by sniper fire as Qaddafi sent warplanes, tanks and troops into Benghazi, the first city to fall to the rebellion that began Feb. 15, friends said.
* A day after it was announced that Libya would free four detained New York Times journalists (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/18/ap/national/main20044776.shtml), satellite newscaster Al Jazeera said four of its employees had been detained there.

In a statement (http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-19) the network said: "Lotfi al-Messaoudi (a Tunisian), Ahmed Vall Ould Addin (a Mauritanian), Ammar al-Hamdan (a Norwegian cameraman) and Kamel Atalua (British) were held while working in the west of the country. Al Jazeera says that the Libyan authorities will be held accountable for the safety, security and well-being of the team, who are being held in Tripoli."
* United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Saturday (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20045024-503543.html) he received an urgent call from the Libyan Prime Minister, telling him that Libya will strictly abide by Resolution 1973, authorizing a no-fly zone and enforced ceasefire in Libya.
Ban described the caller as sounding "rather desperate," reports CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk.
"He asked me to intervene to stop military action on the part of the international community," Ban said.
* So far, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Norway are the announced partners in the international coalition taking military action against Qaddafi's forces. Here is a complete breakdown (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/19/501364/main20045023.shtml) of what hardware they have amassed for the operation thus far.


* A senior military official tells CBS News that most of the targets for the initial strikes are around Tripoli and Misrata. One target is as far west as Zawiyah, another as far east as Surt, nothing around Benghazi. They're going after the nodes that link the air defense sites together.
The U.S. will have 5 Navy electronic aircraft, three submarines, and two destroyers, all armed with cruise missiles. The U.S. will also has 3 supply ships and 2 amphibious ships positioned off Libya. There will also be one Canadian, three Italian, one British and one French ship off the coast plus six more Italian ships outside the immediate attack zone.
Enforcing an arms embargo is part of this operation, in addition to military strikes.
The no-fly zone will cover virtually the entire coast of Italy from Tunis on the east to Egypt on the west. It goes as far south as Sabha. If you were to draw a triangle from those three points that would be a rough approximation of what it looks like.
* President Barack Obama said in a statement regarding Libya: "We can't stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy. (In the military action there), we are part of a broad coalition. We are acting in the interests of the United States and the world." Read the story on Obama's statements here (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/19/world/main20045019.shtml).

* The Pentagon says the U.S. has launched a missile strike on Libyan air defenses. A U.S. military official says the strike was aimed at air defense sites along the Libyan coast.

* (Al Jazeera) Sources tell the Al Jazeera channel that French fighter jets destroyed four Libyan tanks in southwestern Benghazi.
* (CBS) Defense Secretary Robert Gates has postponed for one day his planned trip to Moscow. He was scheduled to arrive Saturday.





* (Al Arabiya) Russia's foreign ministry expressed regret over the decision by Western nations to undertake military operations in Libya.
* (CBS) The Paris Summit for the Support of the Libyan People issued a declaration today describing the situation in Libya as "intolerable," and stating that the coalition was "determined to act collectively and resolutely" to support the U.N. Security Council resolution 1973.

The summit paid tribute to the Libyan people, especially the Libyan National Transition Council and others who have disassociated themselves from the Qaddafi regime, and promised to be at their side "to help them realise their aspirations and build their future and institutions within a democratic framework."

"Our commitment is for the long term: We will not let Colonel Gaddafi and his regime go on defying the will of the international community and scorning that of his people."

While the Summit maintained that it would use military action to ensure compliance with the U.N. resolution, it also noted that UNSC 1973 does not allow for any occupation of, or attempt to occupy the Libyan territory."



http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/03/19/Obama_AP110319123789_244x183.jpg President Barack Obama listens to the U.S. national anthem after arriving to Planalto palace in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011.
(Credit: AP/Eraldo Peres)
* (CBS) As the Obama administration responds to the Libyan conflict, one thing appears to be certain: they don't want to appear to be in charge (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20045001-503544.html). Writing for Political Hotsheet, Robert Hendin says U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both reiterated that American troops will not be on the ground in Libya, and that the United States is taking a supporting role in operations being led by France, Britain and others.

With U.S. troops currently engaged in two wars in Muslim countries - Afghanistan and Iraq - it's clear, Hendin writes, that the U.S. doesn't want to be seen as leading a third.


* AP: French defense official says French fighter jet has fired on Libyan military vehicle.


* Speaking in Brazil on the first day of a three-country Latin American tour (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20044971-503544.html), President Obama said that the U.S. and its allies are prepared to act with urgency to end violence against civilians in Libya.


Obama: "The people of Libya must be protected" (http://www.israelmilitary.net/%20http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7360154n)

"Our consensus was strong, and our resolve is clear. The people of Libya must be protected, and in the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians our coalition is prepared to act, and to act with urgency," Mr. Obama said.



http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/03/19/Sarkozy__244x183.jpg French President Nicholas Sarkozy announcing that French fighter jets are patrolling the skies of Libya, March 19, 2011.
(Credit: CBS)
* CBS News' David Martin reports a U.S. military source has confirmed that French planes have overflown Benghazi. Martin reports they were likely to have been reconnaissance flights, intended to photograph the disposition of pro-Qaddafi forces on the ground ahead of strikes expected later today.



* Speaking from urgent talks in Paris, President Nicolas Sarkozy says France has already taken action against Libya.


* Al-Jazeera (http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-19)is reporting that French planes are prepared to begin bombardment of pro-Gadhafi forces around Benghazi in order to send a message that they are breaking the siege.
* The western Libyan city of Zentan is under heavy bombing from government forces.


* French reconnaissance planes have been flying over Libya, according to Reuters. While the talks in Paris are ongoing, a French military source says, "There are French reconnaissance aircraft over Libya."
================================================== ============================

Although, I expect that the hostilities in Libya, will cease in a very short time span, and Gaddafi ( if he hasn't been killed ) will living with his best buddy in South America, as French President Sarkozy seems to be leading the pack, if ground troops are needed, the French Foreign Legion would be the ideal choice.

odie072
03-21-2011, 01:50 AM
Just for FYI, the jet shot down was a MIG-23bn, and from what I understand it was flown by a rebel pilot and accidentally shot down by rebel forces, all speculation is the pilot didn't survive, he ejected, but, it is believed he was either to close to the ground or there was a problem.

I'm very glad to see the French and the Brits spearheading this. I still can't figure out what Obama is doing. Yesterday before we started firing the Tomahawks, they were releasing to the media that we were going to fire them. Even naming the subs that are in theater. I think this is the first war fought, where the media has a direct line to the Pentagon!! I know that reporters were imbeded with the forces in Iraq, but, they weren't releasing info before it happened. If you remember, Geraldo for Fox News, reported his location and was promptly kicked out of theater.

The Dems are saying everything that the republicans said back when we invaded Iraq, except they are still saying, the Arabs don't like us for our involvement over there. When will they learn, Arabs not liking us has nothing to do with us being over there, has everything to do with the Muslim propaganda against the West.

Obama is making it clear that the Missile that hit Qaddafi's compound, wasn't a US missile.

If I didn't have a pair, I sure wouldn't want the entire world to know it.:mad:

odie

haamimhagolan
03-23-2011, 09:43 AM
I still can't figure out what Obama is doing. Yesterday before we started firing the Tomahawks, they were releasing to the media that we were going to fire them. Even naming the subs that are in theater. I think this is the first war fought, where the media has a direct line to the Pentagon!! I know that reporters were imbeded with the forces in Iraq, but, they weren't releasing info before it happened.

I don't think Obama knows what Obama is doing. This guy was dragged (embarrassed) into taking action . . . by the French!

odie072
03-23-2011, 04:45 PM
He's embarrassed? Heck, I'm embarrassed and I haven't done anything and definitely didn't vote for him!:pat::blackeye::biggrin:

Now they're talking about turning the oversight of the war, over to a political committee!!

Whether you liked President Bush or disagreed with Iraq, at least he had the balls to stand up for what he did.

But remember, the Arabs would like us if we would stay out of the Middle East. Maybe we should start living by that, and not letting any Arabs into the US?!?!! That's only fair play, right???

I hope we can survive the next year and a half without becoming the laughing stock of the World. Even South America is starting to push Obama around!!

odie

scorpio
03-27-2011, 07:15 AM
Western hypocrits! I am still waiting for Western intervention in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, China, Cuba, Sudan etc. no less human rights offenders-genocidal regimes..They are apparently to busy demonizing, condemning and accusing Israel.

Emo Zipper
03-28-2011, 01:19 PM
Look folks; I consider myself as patriotic an American as ever put on a uniform. But, as for being the "police force" for the planet I completely disagree withe the masses that the US had any business getting involved in Libya for any reason. Qaddifi has been killing his own people for decades. We have way too many military operations under way know, let him rot. His carcass isn't worth the effort. The citizens of Libia have allowed him to run their sandbox all these years without any major uprising.

It is the typical response of those that don't know any better. " Monkey see, Monkey do, the others revolted; so we will too". Take your oil and your gas and shove it up your "donkey". The entire thing isn't worth the life of one American Soldier.

That of course is only my opinion. Perhaps there are those that disagree. As a veteran of Viet-Nam that is the way I see it....EZ

WABA
04-02-2011, 11:02 PM
http://static.guim.co.uk/static/103021/zones/news/images/logo.gif (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)
http://static.guim.co.uk/static/103021/zones/news/images/logo_observer.gif (http://www.observer.co.uk/)




Libyan conflict descending into stalemate as US winds down air strikes

Rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces appear to be losing their way amid growing concern in the west over the revolution's end game




(http://reddit.com/submit?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardian.co.uk%2Fworld %2F2011%2Fapr%2F02%2Flibyan-conflict-descending-into-stalemate)
(http://uk.buzz.yahoo.com/buzz?publisherurn=the_guardian665&targetUrl=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/02/libyan-conflict-descending-into-stalemate&summary=Rebels+and+pro-Gaddafi+forces+appear+to+be+losing+their+way+amid+ growing+concern+in+the+west+over+the+revolution%27 s+end+game&headline= Libyan conflict descending into stalemate as US winds down air strikes | World news | The Observer)



Peter Beaumont (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/peterbeaumont), foreign affairs editor, and Chris McGreal (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/chrismcgreal)in Benghazi
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Saturday 2 April 2011 22.19 BST
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2011/4/2/1301763485272/Libyan-rebels-run-for-cov-007.jpg Libyan rebels run for cover after coming under heavy fire near Brega. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP For weeks, Libya (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/libya)'s revolutionary leadership has spoken almost in awe of the soldiers who defected from Muammar Gaddafi (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/muammar-gaddafi)'s army and who would lead the rebel assault to bring him down.
And for weeks, the disorganised civilian volunteers who have rapidly advanced and almost as swiftly retreated along a few hundred miles of desert road have awaited the arrival of these professional soldiers to turn around the revolution's fortunes.
Finally, some made an appearance for the first time at the frontline near Brega. They appeared disciplined, well armed and under command – a stark contrast to the free-for-all of the civilian rebel militia. But there were no more than a few dozen of them and the question still remained: where were the thousands of experienced soldiers that the revolutionary leadership had so often invoked to bolster morale? Did they exist?
While the revolutionary governing council has appealed to foreign governments for larger weapons to confront Gaddafi's tanks and artillery, it has become increasingly apparent that the real issue for the rebels is a lack of discipline, experience and tactics. Even where they have had the advantage, they have been outmanoeuvred in large part because there has been no plan for attack or defence. Instead, the young rebels, full of bravado, charge forward only to turn and flee when they come under fire, often conceding ground.
Some of the rebels have been crying out for leadership. The revolutionary government's de facto finance minister, Ali Tarhouni, was confronted by civilian members of the rebel militia demanding to know who was going to take charge of military strategy on the ground after claiming that there are 1,000 trained fighters among the rebels.
On Friday, two of the senior rebel defectors from the Gaddafi regime, Abdel Fattah Younes, the ex-interior minister, and Khalifa Haftar, the former head of Libya's armed forces, made an appearance at the front to be greeted like heroes.
Wearing sunglasses and a red and green scarf around his neck, Younes toured the frontline near the port of Brega, shaking hands with the crowd of volunteers who formed around him firing their weapons in the air.
While their visit boosted morale at a time when the rebels have been in retreat once again, a more important question remains – whether these men, who have avoided the frontlines for their own reasons, can turn the war around. And from this weekend it is not who is fighting that is the question but who will no longer be fighting, with the US announcement that its warplanes will no longer carry out bombing raids. Even before the American decision, the number of air strikes, mandated by the UN security council resolution 1973, had been sharply diminishing.
On Friday, Nato (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nato) announced that coalition aircraft had flown 74 strike missions the previous day, down almost a quarter from earlier in the week. Of those missions, US aircraft flew only 10. And that number of strikes looks likely to decline as responsibility passes largely to the UK, France and Canada.
Among the aircraft being withdrawn are the A-10 Thunderbolts and AC-130 gunships which have been used with such devastating impact against Libyan armour.

The slowing of the coalition mission has only helped to contribute to a growing sense that the conflict in Libya is stumbling into a new and uncertain phase, marked not by the strengths of the opposing sides but by a realisation of their weaknesses.
On the rebel side, a familiar scenario has been played out repeatedly as their poorly armed and ill-disciplined fighters have advanced chaotically to occupy towns briefly vacated by Gaddafi's troops, only to be driven back through scores of miles of desert at the first salvo of rocket or tank fire despite the bravado of their rhetoric.
On Gaddafi's side, his armour and aircraft harried by coalition jets, the momentum similarly has faded since his forces were driven back from the edges of Benghazi by the entry of international forces into the conflict.
And the coalition, too – so optimistic at first behind the scenes about being able to lever Gaddafi out of power with a limited air campaign – has also run out of steam as the US has quickly moved to limit its involvement in the war, ruling out ground troops, and its participants have come to realise the limitations of the UN resolution that authorised force in the first place.
Instead, what has begun to emerge is what many feared in the first place – a stalemate, defined by two sides playing a kind of lethal tag in the desert over deserted oil towns.
By last week it had led one of America's most senior officers, General Carter Ham, head of US Africa command, to warn publicly for the first time of what Washington, London and Paris regard as the nightmare scenario. "I do see a situation where that could be the case," he said. "I could see accomplishing the military mission which has been assigned to me, and the current leader would remain the current leader."
Ham's prognosis has been underscored by US intelligence analysis, which has come to the same conclusion. Officials who spoke anonymously to the Washington Post have cautioned against the idea that Gaddafi may be toppled quickly, despite the high-profile defection to London last week of his foreign minister and long-time intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa. "Neither side seems capable of moving the ball down the field," a US official told the paper. "It is also true that neither side has endless resources."
If Ham's message was pessimistic, that delivered to the House armed services committee by Ham's boss, defence secretary Robert Gates, was bleak, not least for those in the opposition listening to his message in Benghazi.
Despite reported ambiguity on Barack Obama's part over the issue of arming and training the rebels, Gates made clear that the Pentagon firmly opposed it. Repeating that it was a "certainty" that no US ground troops would be authorised by Obama, he laid into the rebels' capabilities, describing the opposition as a faction-ridden and disparate "misnomer" whose forces lacked "command and control and organisation". If the opposition needed training and weapons, he said, "someone else" would have to provide it, a declaration that would seem to slam the door on the rebels' hopes of being armed by the West.
And it has not only been US officials who have been speaking their mind. Last week a collection of former British defence chiefs – perhaps reflecting the views of serving senior officers – used the stage of the House of Lords to warn of the dangers of "mission creep" and taking sides in a civil war if it were decided to use ground troops to break the impasse.

What is also true, however, is that in being weakened by the conflict both sides may be forced into new positions suggesting that, ultimately, negotiations rather than military force might bring the crisis in Libya to an end.
On Friday, after weeks of refusing to negotiate with the Gaddafi regime, the head of the opposition's National Council based in Benghazi laid out its terms for a ceasefire, demanding that Gaddafi withdraw all his forces from Libyan cities and allow "peaceful protests" – the latter condition they hope would lead to his ousting.
While Gaddafi officials quickly rejected the offer as "a trick", it is clear, too, that members of Gaddafi's own regime – weakened by defections, including that of Koussa, and damage to the country's economy – have also been attempting to find an end to the crisis, no matter how cynically motivated.
Libya's former prime minister, Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, confirming remarks by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton that regime figures were trying to get in contact, said on Friday: "We are trying to talk to the British, the French and the Americans to stop the killing of people. We are trying to find a mutual solution." His comments followed the disclosure that a senior aide to Gaddafi's powerful son, Saif al-Islam, had met British officials midweek on a visit to London.
While David Cameron and some of his allies in the coalition are hoping that Gaddafi may be forced out by more defections from his inner circle following the example of Koussa, as yet – despite rumours – the most important figures, including the powerful military intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, have shown no real signs of budging.
All of which has raised the increasing prospect that any solution for the crisis in Libya – as things stand now – is more likely to be political than military, a view strongly endorsed by Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini.
"It is not through actions of war that we can make Gaddafi leave, but rather through strong international pressure to encourage defections by people close to him," Frattini said. Indeed, Italy is understood to be involved in a search for countries that might be prepared to welcome Gaddafi and his family if he agrees to leave.
This all opens a number of possible scenarios. Gates last week provided one – much wished for by the opposition – that a member of Gaddafi's military "takes him out", then cuts a deal with the opposition. But despite persistent rumours of a failed attack last month by a group of soldiers on Gaddafi's Tripoli compound, this seems like wishful thinking.
Another scenario – suggested by some analysts and officials – is that the regime's attempts to reach out and engage in negotiations are a kind of stalling strategy designed ultimately to split the opposition, which the regime has been doing in any case, trying to separate tribal leaders from the rebels through its own process of "national dialogue", although so far without much success.
Least likely is one of a number of scenarios allegedly most favoured by Gaddafi and family, which would see Gaddafi (or one of his sons) overseeing a transitional period of reform. It is precisely this proposal – which the Turkish media was reporting before the onset of the coalition's air strikes – that Ankara was attempting to broker: envisaging that Gaddafi would cede power to one of his sons ahead of elections.
Whatever the outcome, what seems most unlikely is that the rebels' newly visible generals will be leading their troops into Tripoli any time in the near future.

odie072
04-02-2011, 11:11 PM
Oops, this is why you don't celebrate by shooting your weapons into the air!!!


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110402/ap_on_bi_ge/af_libya

Libyan rebels say airstrike killed 13 of their own

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A Libyan rebel walks past the charred remains of the vehicles, belonging to the Libyan rebels, which were allegedly targeted in NATO coalition airstrikes overnight near Brega April 2, 2011. More photos (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Libya/ss/events/wl/051506libya)
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By BEN HUBBARD and RYAN LUCAS, Associated Press 1 hr 1 min ago
BENGHAZI, Libya A NATO airstrike intended to thwart Moammar Gadhafi's forces killed 13 rebel fighters in eastern Libya instead, the opposition said Saturday, but they described it as an "unfortunate accident" and stressed it did not diminish their support for the international air campaign.
The rebels' response to the attack blaming it on a mistake within their ranks highlighted their heavy dependence on the international air campaign as they face the superior military power of the longtime Libyan leader. The misfire also showed the challenges the coalition faces in identifying targets without coordination with forces on the ground.
"As regrettable as it may be, we understand that we might have to give up lives for the greater good. We have to look at the bigger picture," opposition spokesman Mustafa Gheriani said. "This is a war and the lines are so fluid going back and forth, so it's natural that mistakes will happen."
The slain fighters were hit Friday night as they moved forward, attempting to take back the oil city of Brega, while airstrikes were in progress. Seven fighters were injured. Another opposition spokesman, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, said it was an example of the lack of coordination in the ranks that has proven a key obstacle to victory over the more organized Libyan military.
Rebels without training sometimes even without weapons have rushed in and out of fighting in a free-for-all for more than six weeks, repeatedly getting trounced by Gadhafi's more heavily armed forces. But ex-military officers who have joined the rebel side have stepped up training efforts and taken a greater role in the fight.
"This unfortunate accident was a mistake that was caused by the rebels' advance during the coalition's attack," Ghoga said. "Now the military leadership that has been organized more effectively recently is working on preventing the recurrence of these accidents."
Sorting rebels from Gadhafi's forces has become more difficult recently, as some loyalists have given up tanks and other armored vehicles for the kind of equipment the rebels rely on: pickup truck and other vehicles equipped with makeshift armaments.


Two men badly injured in the strike said it happened at about 8 p.m. Friday after somebody fired heavy weaponry into the air as a rebel convoy made its way from Ajdabiya toward Brega.


"We all turned to him and said, "Why the hell did you do that?'" said Ali Abdullah Zio, 28. He said it was a mistake, then pulled out of the convoy and drove back to Ajdabiya. Moments later there was an airstrike.


"We were just driving along and then everything was on fire," said 19-year-old Ibrahim al-Shahaibi. "It's fate. They must have thought we were Gadhafi's brigades when they hit us. We need to get rid of him."
Al-Shahaibi was covered up to his chest in a fuzzy brown blanket in the intensive care unit at Benghazi's Jalaa hospital. His right leg was amputated below the knee and his face had severe burns.
Zio, an economics student at Qar Younis University in Benghazi, also was lying in a hospital bed, with a swollen face and his head and hands wrapped in white bandages. He was unable to open his eyes. But he said he wasn't angry, and planned to return to the front as soon as possible.
"It's the coalition that protects us," he said.
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the alliance was investigating the reports.
"The exact details are hard to verify because we have no reliable source on the ground," Lungescu said. "Clearly, if someone fires at one of our aircraft they have the right to defend themselves."
Rebels told The Associated Press that the fighters were hit about 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of Brega, which has gone back and forth between rebel and government hands in recent weeks.
NATO, which on Thursday took over what had been a U.S.-led military campaign to stop Gadhafi from attacking his own people, also is investigating whether other airstrikes have killed civilians in western Libya, as the Libyan government claims. The United States, meanwhile, was ending its role in combat missions Saturday, leaving that work for other nations.
Rebels control much of eastern Libya, but in the west the only major city they hold is Misrata, which has been besieged for weeks by Gadhafi forces who have cut off water, power and food supplies.
Medical officials said Saturday that government forces killed 37 civilians over the past two days in an unrelenting campaign of shelling and sniper fire and an attack that burned down the city's main stocks of flour and sugar.
"One of the snipers kept shooting at one car, and it caught fire. We couldn't save them. They were burnt to death," a doctor said. He said a Turkish ship that delivered medical supplies to Misrata left with some of the wounded.
Over the past month and a half, 243 people have been killed and some 1,000 wounded, according to the medical officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
The hospital official in Misrata said Gadhafi forces were trying to pummel the port, hoping to cut off the city's last line to the outside world. He said tanks positioned on the city's east fired shells toward the area. Other Gadhafi troops disguised in civilian cars sped to the area, firing mortars and then fleeing, he said.
Gadhafi's forces have shelled the city's outskirts and residents are piling into the heart of Misrata, crowding into the homes of relations and even unfinished buildings, the hospital official said. The reports could not be independently confirmed.
Ukraine said it would dispatch a military ship to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to collect up to 600 Ukrainians, Americans, Britons, Russians, Belorussians and other foreigners, Ukrainian spokesman Aleksandr Dikusarov said. He said Libyan authorities had guaranteed the safety of the evacuation.



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