Home > News of the moment > NATO bombing of Tripoli on Tuesday May 24th kills 19 civilians, wounds 150

NATO bombing of Tripoli on Tuesday May 24th kills 19 civilians, wounds 150

By Bill Van Auken 25 May 2011     Find Full Article Here:-

In the most intensive bombardment since the US and NATO launched their war of aggression against Libya, strikes by British and other NATO warplanes in the early hours of Tuesday morning killed 19 Libyan civilians. Another 150 were wounded, some of them seriously, according to Libya’s health ministry, the General People’s Committee for Health.

The highly concentrated air raid, reportedly led by British Typhoon and Tornado warplanes, included up to 20 huge separate explosions in the area of central Tripoli where the residential compound of Col. Muammar Gaddafi is located. Libyan officials said that the explosions damaged a number of houses as well as a nearby mosque.

Like earlier air strikes on Tripoli—including one last month that claimed the lives of Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren—Tuesday morning’s raid appeared to be aimed at decapitating the Libyan regime, or failing that, terrorizing Tripoli’s population and those who oppose NATO’s intervention.

The pretense that the US-NATO military operations are being carried out in conformity with the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and measures to protect Libya’s civilian population has been all but abandoned. Leaders in Washington and Western Europe make no attempt to hide the reality that the aim of the war is “regime change,” and they are prepared to kill as many Libyans as necessary to accomplish that goal.

In addition to the stepped-up bombing raids, France and Britain have unveiled plans to deploy attack helicopters for the first time in Libya. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé confirmed this action, a qualitative escalation of the imperialist intervention, on Monday.

He said that France had dispatched 12 Tiger and Gazelle helicopters aboard a French battleship from Toulon on May 17, while asserting that the attack helicopters would enable the NATO forces “to better adapt our ground attack capacity with more precise means of striking.”

“Our strategy,” Juppé continued, “is to step up the military pressure in the weeks ahead while pushing at the same time for a political solution.”

While Juppé claimed that the helicopters would not be used to deploy ground troops on Libyan soil, the French daily Le Figaro reported that French special forces units would be operating inside Libya to identify targets for the attack helicopters. Such units have been operating inside Libya since before the NATO air war was launched two months ago.

Moreover, the helicopters, which will presumably be providing close-air support for so-called rebel units backed by NATO, will be far more vulnerable to ground fire, including from portable surface-to-air missiles in the hands of troops loyal to the government in Tripoli. The prospect of a helicopter being shot down and the possibility of crew members being taken prisoner make the direct intervention of combat troops on the ground all the more inevitable.

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Categories: News of the moment
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  1. June 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm

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