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La OTAN "intentando matar a Ghadafi PDF Imprimir E-mail
Miércoles, 29 de Junio de 2011 14:07

Libya: Nato 'trying to kill Col Gaddafi'

By Alex Spillius, Washington and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg

Last Updated: 11:48PM BST 26/06/2011

A senior American general involved in the Libyan campaign has admitted that Nato forces are trying to kill Col Muammar Gaddafi, according to a member of the United States Congress.

In the first such admission, Adm Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, said that efforts had been stepped up to target the Libyan leader, despite declarations by the Obama administration that "regime change" was not the goal.

The admiral's comments were revealed by Representative Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Mr Turner has opposed the military intervention from the outset was among those who voted in the House of Representatives last week to deny President Barack Obama the authority to wage war against Libya.

Another motion to stop funding for the war failed.

He told Foreign Policy magazine that he came away from his conversation with Adm Locklear convinced that Nato was acting beyond remit of the United Nations 1973 resolution on Libya, which allowed for enforcement of a no-fly zone and the defence of civilians and against Col Gaddafi's forces.

"I believe the scope that Nato is pursuing is beyond what is contemplated in civil protection, so they're exceeding the mission," he said.

The admiral also repeated a comment he made last month that a "small force" might be needed on the ground in the initial stages after the fall of Col Gaddafi's regime.

Mr Obama has been adamant that US ground forces will not be deployed, and is under pressure from anti-war Democrats and Republicans keen to check his power.

"The president hasn't come to Congress and said any of this, and yet Admiral Locklear is pursuing the targeting of Gaddafi's regime, Gaddafi himself, and contemplating ground troops following Gaddafi's removal," said Mr Turner. "They're not being straightforward with Congress... It's outrageous."

Frustrated at their inability to break the military deadlock, Nato commanders in late April expanded the campaign with strikes against military command facilities and other buildings used by Col Gaddafi and his top aides.

Officials have so far taken a wink and a nod approach to such attacks, maintaining they are not part of a strategy of regime change.

"We're picking up attacks on these command-and-control facilities," one official said "If he [Gaddafi] happens to be in one of those buildings, all the better."

Robert Gates, who stands down as US defence secretary at the end of the month, said: "We are not targeting him specifically, but we do consider command and control targets to be legitimate targets wherever we find them."

Leaders of the African Union reiterated calls for a ceasefire to be observed by all sides, including Nato, and an interim government to be established following negotiations President Jacob Zuma of South Africa said signatories to the UN resolution had not intended "to authorise a campaign for regime change or political assassination".

"On the ground, there is a military stalemate which we cannot and must not allow to drag on and on, both because of its horrendous cost in civilian lives and the potential it has to destablise the entire sub-region," he said.

The African leaders communique said welcomed a statement that Col Gaddafi would not interfere with negotiations to end Libya's four-month conflict.

Col Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said Adm Locklear’s views had not been accurately reflected on “either US ground troops or the targeting of any individual, including Col Gadaffi”.

“The admiral clearly understands and has repeatedly emphasised the stated objectives for the military mission as set forth” in the resolution, he added.

Última actualización el Viernes, 15 de Julio de 2011 11:09
 

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