Attacks on Libya have cost U.S. taxpayers $550 million so far listen03/29/11 wire reports including AP
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A U.S. defense official says U.S. ships and submarines unleashed a barrage of cruise missiles at Libyan missile storage facilities in the Tripoli area late yesterday and early today.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military details, said 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the Mediterranean - the most in at least several days.
The Pentagon says the military intervention in Libya has cost the United States about $550 million so far, beyond what it would have spent for troops and ships, mostly for bombs and missiles.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton implored the world to speak with a single voice to Gadhafi and tell him to leave power to ensure that the Libya "belongs not to a dictator, but to its people."
"Military action will continue until Gadhafi complies with the terms of [U.N. Security Council Resolution] 1973, ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered, and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans."
A top NATO commander says there's a chance Gadhafi will leave under pressure from the U.S. and its partners. Admiral James Stavridis, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, spoke to a congressional panel today.
"I think we have a chance at, a more than reasonable chance, of Gadhafi leaving because the entire international community is arrayed against him."
The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee say President Barack Obama was right to use military force in Libya. Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican John McCain of Arizona made the comments today.
"Gadhafi may crack. I think it's very possible that he may do so but, I don't think we can place all of our hopes on that outcome."
Last night President Barack Obama addressed the nation and said control of the operation would be handed off this week to NATO.
"If we tried to overthrow Gadhafi by force our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission or risk killing many civilians from the air."
The battle is raging for Gadhafi's hometown and stronghold of Sirte. So far, rebel attacks have been repelled by heavy mortar and rocket fire.
Meanwhile, U.S. Military officials say U.S. aircraft have fired at a Libyan coast guard vessel after it launched missiles at merchant ships in the port of Misrata.
British foreign secretary William Hague says that diplomats meeting in London did not discuss arming the opposition to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.