THE SERVANT OF THAT GOD DAMNED CREATOR-GOD IN VAIN!WASHINGTON – U.S. and British ships and submarines launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses Saturday and a senior American defense official said it was believed substantial damage was inflicted.
In the strikes, 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya's air force.
While U.S. defense officials cautioned that it was too early to fully gauge the impact of the onslaught, the official said that given the precision targeting of the Navy's cruise missiles, they felt that Libya's air defenses suffered a good deal of damage.
First wave of allied assault: 112 cruise missilesPosted: March 19, 2011 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized
By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer – 1 hr 7 mins ago
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon says U.S. and British ships and submarines have launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses, firing 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 targets along the coast.
Saturday’s mission was aimed at clearing the way for imposition of a European-led no-fly zone over the North African country.
Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told reporters the Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from one British submarine and a number of American destroyers and subs. He said they hit more than 20 air defense sites along the Mediterranean coastline. He said the success of the mission was not immediately clear, adding that additional attacks would commence later.
Gortney said the mission has two goals: prevent further attacks by Libyan forces on rebels and other civilians, and degrade the Libyan military’s ability to contest a no-fly zone.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended an international conference in Paris that endorsed military action against Gadhafi, the U.S. kicked off its attacks on Libyan air defense missile and radar sites along the Mediterranean coast to protect no-fly zone pilots from the threat of getting shot down.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive military operations, said the Obama administration intended to limit its involvement — at least in the initial stages — to helping protect French and other air missions.
At a news conference in Paris, Clinton said Gadhafi had left the world no choice but to intervene urgently and forcefully to protect further loss of civilian life.
“We have every reason to fear that left unchecked Gadhafi would commit unspeakable atrocities,” she told reporters.
Click image to see photos of protests in Libya
Clinton said there was no evidence that Gadhafi’s forces were respecting an alleged cease-fire they proclaimed and the time for action was now.
“Our assessment is that the aggressive action by Gadhafi’s forces continues in many parts of the country,” she said. “We have seen no real effort on the part of the Gadhafi forces to abide by a cease-fire.”
President Barack Obama announced on Friday that he had given the go-ahead for U.S. forces to participate in operations designed to enforce the provisions of a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Gadhafi cease firing on civilians. At the outset of a visit to Brazil on Saturday, he spoke briefly about Libya, noting the Paris talks.
“Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear,” Obama said. “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.”
Among the U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean were two guided-missile destroyers, the USS Barry and USS Stout, as well as two amphibious warships, the USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce, and a command-and-control ship, the USS Mount Whitney. The submarine USS Providence was also in the Mediterranean.