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Quick FACTS: US and the Libya invasion (9/2/2013; presstv.ir)
An American F-15 fighter jet has crashed in Libya amid growing criticism against the U.S. presence in the oil-rich North Africa country both from within and outside the United States.
The U.S. joined a coalition of western forces led by France in enforcing the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for a ban on all flights in the country’s airspace — a no-fly zone — and tightened sanctions on the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and its supporters.
Adopting UNSC Resolution 1973 by a vote of 10 in favor to none against, with 5 abstentions the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country.
There were no opposing votes on the 15-member council, but China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil abstained. Germany said it was concerned about a protracted military conflict. CNN
The United States and its allies have run into some criticism for the intensity of the firepower unleashed on Libya. rferl.org
And political debate is growing on the international stage about how far UN authorization allows air strikes to go. rferl.org
US President Barack Obama says the U.S. is looking forward to withdrawing its forces from Libya and handing over responsibility to foreign forces.
"But, obviously, our military is already very stretched and carries large burdens all around the world. And whenever possible for us to be able to get international cooperation -- not just in terms of words, but also in terms of planes and pilots and resources -- that's something that we should actively seek and embrace, because it relieves the burden on our military and it relieves the burden on U.S. taxpayers to fulfill what is an international mission and not simply a U.S. mission," he said. Whitehouse.gov
Robert Gates: No-fly zone not ‘wise’
Before the no-fly zone was adopted, a number of senior U.S. officials including Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned about the consequences of such a decision. NY Times
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates warned Congress earlier in the March that even a more modest effort to establish a no-flight zone over Libya would have to begin with an attack on the country’s air defenses and would require “a big operation in a big country.” NY Times
"This is not a question of whether we or our allies can do this. We can do it," Gates told reporters aboard his plane after a visit to Bahrain. "The question is whether it's a wise thing to do and that's the discussion that's going on at a political level," he said. Times of India