Libyan ground forces degraded by up to 40 percent: U.S.

BAGHDAD Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:09am EDT

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Coalition air strikes have degraded Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's main ground forces by 30 to 40 percent, but the battle appears to be heading to a stalemate, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday.

"It's certainly moving toward a stalemate," said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's joint chiefs of staff, addressing U.S. troops during a visit to Baghdad.

"At the same time we've attrited somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of his main ground forces, his ground force capabilities. Those will continue to go away over time."

Mullen said there was no sign of al Qaeda representation in Libya's opposition, playing down concerns about any militant groups edging their way into the Libyan conflict.

"We're watchful of it, mindful of it and I just haven't seen much of it at all. In fact, I've seen no al Qaeda representation there at all," he said.

Mullen arrived in Baghdad on Thursday. The United States is planning to withdraw its remaining troops from Iraq by the end of December, more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Serena Chaudhry and Elizabeth Fullerton)

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Comments (2)
BeanerECMO wrote:
It’s a civil war and we should not be involved; especially since the rebels have ties to AQIL. And now, BHO is helping to arm those that would kill us. The only reason that the Euros were front and center so quickly was to protect their petroleum interests and nothing more. The only reason that US force is being used is to protect the petroleum interests of the Europeans. The Europeans and the rest of NATO do not have the capabilities that the US has for enforcing a no-fly zone – Navy Air, Surface and Subsurface Arms and, now, drones. Ya know they don’t do anything for humanitarian reasons. And, they got all that favorable legacy media support. Do ya think the US would get the same favorable coverage if they had done the same in Kuwait/Saudi Arabia or Iraq? Ya know they wouldn’t and didn’t. Remember all those placards of, “No Blood For Oil!!” And we still haven’t been repaid by either country; not just for the fiscal expenditures, but for the lost and disrupted lives.
And, now that we know there are Al Qaeda links with the rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood is insinuating itself with the rebels; how near are we to coordinating actions with the rebels, AQIL & MBIL, and we are arming them as well? Do ya think AQ is going to backoff against the western world any time soon?
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I was a regressive (aka liberal progressive) until I learned to read, got a job and was mugged by willful tax and spend regressives and acolytes; i.e., unions.

Apr 22, 2011 9:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
VernonHuffman wrote:
An oxymoron like ‘humanitarian warfare’ raises my skepticism, especially after the same nations turned a blind eye to Operation Cast Lead. Intervention in a civil war is never justified, but I see no problem with cutting off the arms flow to both sides.

Apr 25, 2011 9:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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