NATO strikes further reduce pro-Gaddafi forces capacity

  • Last updated: 11 Apr. 2011 18:40

Naples, 11 April – NATO’s Operation Unified Protector struck several more targets around the cities of Ajdabiya and Misrata yesterday afternoon and early this morning resulting in the destruction of 11 Regime tanks and five military vehicles, in addition to the 25 tanks destroyed and announced yesterday.

“NATO is keeping up the pressure to make the violence stop” said NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels.  “Since Saturday, we have destroyed 49 tanks, 9 armoured personnel carriers, 3 anti-aircraft guns and 4 larger ammunition bunkers, the majority of these around Misrata and Ajdabiya” he said.

Gadhaffi forces continue to mass large quantities of tanks and other armoured vehicles in and around the Western city of Misrata.  Tanks are being placed in the city next to public buildings as shown in a satellite photo released by NATO, earlier today. 

“Despite Gadhaffi attempts to hide behind civilians, we are finding his military hardware in other locations and we are destroying it with increasing success,” said Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, Commander of Operation Unified Protector.

Early this morning Gadhaffi forces shelled Misrata for more than 30 minutes, this despite the Gadhaffi Government talking of a cease fire. 

Most of the tanks destroyed were around Ajdabiya where Gadhaffi forces fell back from positions in the city after yesterday’s airstrikes.  “We know we are having an effect, his forces are showing signs of confusion but the pressure will remain and our forces are determined to protect civilians from these attacks,” said Lieutenant-General Bouchard. 

NATO Operation Unified Protector is mandated under the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect civilians from attack using any means necessary.