US predator drones in combat patrols over Libya

04/22/11 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.

Previous WMNF news coverage of Libya

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Belly-up to the bar boys… you ask for it!!!

I agree with Sen. McCain in that the opposition forces needs increased international military support. NATO (with its 28 member countries) has ended up refereeing this civil war… with the full approval of the Arab League. Yet, only 6 NATO members and NO Arab League members are actively involved. However… I strongly disagree with him when he says it is important to increase American firepower over Libya!!! There are at least two dozen other countries wrapped up in this thing… and they need to step up to the plate. Jeez… you would think that after spending more than a half dozen years in a bamboo box at the Hanoi Hilton… the good Senator would have a little better perspective on this. Excuse me… Mr. President, Sir… please walk softly here… It’s not a far leap from American drones to American bones in Libya. Both the NATO and Arab League countries stand to lose a hell of a lot more than the US does… should the opposition forces fail.