Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, April 26, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Obama OKs use of 'armed Predators' in Libya,
as in Afghanistan and Yemen

WASHINGTON — The United States has approved combat unmanned aerial vehicle operations in Libya.


Officials said President Barack Obama has approved the launch of combat UAV operations against the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. They said the U.S. military would deploy the Predator UAV by General Atomics, used in operations in Afghanistan and Yemen.

"The president has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "In fact, he has approved the use of armed Predators [in Libya]."

Also In This Edition

Officials said two Predators have already been deployed as part of NATO's no-fly zone over Libya, Middle East Newsline reported. They said, however, that the Predator missions were limited to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

In a Pentagon briefing on April 21, officials said Predator would be used in urban warfare missions against Gadhafi forces. They said Predator contains the ability to detect and track stationary and mobile targets.

"They [Predators] bring their ability to get down lower and therefore, to be able to get better visibility, particularly on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions," Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.

The launch of combat UAV operations took place on April 23 in Misrata. Officials said the Predators would be able to distinguish between Gadhafi's forces and civilian assets, such as homes.

"The first Predator strike in Libya occurred today in the early afternoon local time," a Pentagon statement said. "Per common practice we are not providing any details."

In early April, the United States announced its withdrawal from combat missions over Libya. Since then, the Pentagon has agreed to combat support as well as occasional attack missions with NATO.

"The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies and our friends," Gates said. "And if we can make a modest contribution with these armed Predators, we'll do it."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.