No Fly Zone, One Week Later

It’s been about a week since NATO implemented a no-fly zone over Libya, with the approval of the UN security council and at the request of the Arab League.

The boy below has pointed out an error of mine. I’ve been spelling the city Misrata, he seems to be indicating that it is spelled Musrata in English. Very well, young man, correction noted and thank you.

Pre-teenage boy holding sign in red that reads Musrata. Behind him, another boy holds a mocking cartoon of Gaddafi.
(Image Credit: Al Jazeera Live)

Another interesting image I’ve come across is this, a Marine Harrier “jump-jet” landing vertically on the USS Kearsarge as it returns from strikes on Libyan Government forces outside of Musrata. This isn’t from the next Transformers movie, I promise you. Click for full size and resolution.

Night vision image of a harrier lowering vertically towards a barely visible flight deck. The flames from the jet engine can be seen pointing down towards the flight deck.
(Image Credit: Al Jazeera Live)

This is that warship, the USS Kearsarge, off the coast of Libya during the day. The ship is nearly identical to its sister ship, the USS Essex, who’s capabilities I described last week.

USS Kearsarge at sea during the day. Flight deck is quite prominent, and harriers are visible on it.
(Image Credit: Al Jazeera Live)

Well, that is enough hardware talk. Wikipedia has extensive documentation of the various assets at work.

Musrata

It has been about a month since resistance began in Musrata. Government troops laid siege to it after finishing their conquest of Zawiya, and Musrata has been the most brutal operation conducted by Gaddafi’s forces yet. Features of this siege have included systematic leveling of buildings and rampant killing of civilians. As a result of NATO strikes over the last few days, the Siege of Musrata has effectively ended.

The killing, however, has not. NATO aircraft can locate and destroy combat vehicles of Gaddafi’s Army, but individual government marksman cannot be located from the air. By stating that the siege has ended, I am conveying that earnest efforts to capture the city have ended for the moment. Gaddafi’s troops are reported to be killing unarmed people indiscriminately, and people are not being allowed to leave the city. The primary hospital of Musrata has Government marksman on the rooftop, shooting injured people as they approach. For obvious reasons, there isn’t much that NATO Aircraft can do about this – heavy machine gun bullets from aircraft will penetrate the roof of the building, and likely kill or injure people within the hospital.

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No Fly Zone, One Week Later

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