NATO widens air war in Libya, targeting key sites in Tripoli
A state TV facility and one of Kadafi's residences have been hit. Officials deny they are targeting the Libyan leader specifically....." Yet they target his residences and kill his younger son and three grand children ."
Frustrated at their inability to break the military deadlock in Libya and to
stop the shelling of civilian areas, NATO commanders are expanding their air war
by launching strikes against military command facilities and other regime
buildings used by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi and his top aides.
NATO officials said the escalation, supported by armed U.S. Predator drones, is
meant to sever Kadafi's communication and supply links with army units battling
the rebellion based in eastern Libya. But privately, some NATO officials say the
goal is to strike directly at the pillars of the regime, including Kadafi, in
the heart of Tripoli.
"This is a shift, absolutely," a senior NATO officer said Tuesday. "We're
picking up attacks on these command-and-control facilities. If he happens to be
in one of those buildings, all the better."
NATO's ability to identify Kadafi's command facilities increased with the
deployment last week of the Predator drones, which can circle overhead for as
long as 20 hours, beaming live video to intelligence analysts responsible for
Kadafi also has to worry that the drones, which are armed with Hellfire
missiles, could be used to track and attack his location.
The U.S. has supplied NATO with a Global Hawk drone as well, which can fly even
longer missions than the Predator but is unarmed.