US predator drones in combat patrols over Libya listen04/22/11 wire reports including AP
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U.S. unmanned Predator drones are now providing 24-hour combat air patrols over Libya.
President Barack Obama approved the use of armed drones on ground forces for the first time since America turned over control of the operation to NATO on April 4th.
At a news conference in Iraq, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen says it remains to be seen whether Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will remain in power.
"From a strategic perspective, I think the clearer the long term goal is to see Gadhafi and his family out of power and out of the country. The specifics on how that's going to happen and when that's going to happen are still difficult to be determinant. As I've observed in recent days, essentially, it is very stalemate-like in the vicinity of Ajdabiya and al Burayqah . The United States position with respect to arming the rebels is very clear and we're not...there's been no decision to do that. Right now that's not going to happen."
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain is visiting opposition leaders in Benghazi. McCain called them heroes and wants increased international military support. He says the rebels need weapons, training, battlefield intelligence and close air support.
McCain also says the opposition's Transitional National Council deserves recognition as the legitimate voice of the Libyan people.