Rasmussen: NATO has taken full control of Libya operations
Mar 31, 2011, 8:45 GMT
Brussels - NATO has taken full control of airstrike operations against Libya, the chief of the Western military alliance said Thursday.
'On Thursday morning at 0600 GMT, NATO took sole command of international air operations over Libya,' Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.
The military alliance had established its command structure on Wednesday, but was waiting for all contributing nations to operation 'Unified Protector' to transfer their military assets under NATO's control.
Until Thursday, military action had been carried out by an impromptu coalition coordinated by the United States, with Britain and France playing leading roles.
NATO has taken control of all United Nations-mandated military action against Libya - comprising an arms embargo, a no-fly zone and airstrikes to protect civilians and civilian centres.
'In line with the mandate of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, NATO's focus is on protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas against the threat of attack,' Rasmussen said.
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