As American and United Nations forces today began a concerted military effort to neutralize Muammar el-Qaddafi and protect Libyan citizens, U.S. Senator from Colorado Mark Udall issued a statement in support of American military action in Libya.
“Like all Americans, I deplore and condemn the violence against Libyans who are asserting their rights to basic freedoms. Colonel Qaddafi has been a brutal dictator and is viciously attacking his own people in order to maintain control, and he gave the international community no choice but to act.
“Importantly, the United States is acting in concert with the United Nations. France, Britain and other nations are joining us in enforcing the no-fly zone.
“The international community has given Qaddafi a clear choice, and made it clear that there are serious consequences to ignoring the will of his people.”
TRIPOLI, Libya — American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Saturday, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war.
The mission to impose a United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone and keep Colonel Qaddafi from using air power against beleaguered rebel forces was portrayed by Pentagon and NATO officials as under French and British leadership.
But the Pentagon said that American forces were mounting an initial campaign to knock out Libya’s air defense systems, firing volley after volley of Tomahawk missiles from nearby ships against missile, radar and communications centers around Tripoli, the capital and the western cities of Misurata and Surt.