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March 25th, 2011
07:14 PM ET

U.S. commander: Successes, challenges in Libya

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - NATO has agreed in principle to take the lead in protecting Libyan civilians and will work out details this weekend, said the top commander of a U.S. mission that already is enforcing a no-fly zone in the war-torn country.

Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, also said on CNN's "The Situation Room" Friday that removing leader Moammar Gadhafi by military means is not the aim of the mission and that the coalition is not arming rebel forces.

And the general claimed "we have achieved already a large degree of success" - including an arms embargo, the no-fly zone and the halting of loyalist troops near the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

President Barack Obama will update the nation at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., the White House announced.

NATO this weekend is expected to take over control of the no-fly zone from the United States.

But Ham acknowledged that challenges remain.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. morris wise

    A long stalemate would starve Libyans, they would be happy accepting a NATO appointed administrator. He would form a benevolent new government who would supply food to the conquered and hand out oil contracts to the conquerors.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm |