Updates on Libyan war from Stop NATO News: May 27, 2011

Day 70 Of Libyan War:

8,444 NATO Air Missions, 3,229 Combat Flights!

Non-Aligned Movement Conference: Cuba Condemns NATO Attacks Against Libya As International Crime

NATO Defies Africa By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya

Britain Deploys Helicopter Gunships To “Turn The Screw” On Libya

H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group In NATO Exercise En Route To Mediterranean

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll At 200 So Far This Year

17 Afghan Police, Several Civilians Among 75 Killed In NATO Air Strike: Report

NATO Visit To Mongolia Heralds New Global Role

U.S. Army Receives THAAD Interceptor Missiles

Global Training: NATO In Tanzania

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French Rafale fighter jet


F-16s


Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile


THAAD missile launch

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Day 70 Of Libyan War: 8,444 NATO Air Missions, 3,229 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110527_110527-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 27, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 8444 sorties, including 3229 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 May: 140

Strike sorties conducted 26 May: 54

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

10 Vessels were hailed on 26 May to determine destination and cargo. 3 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 1060 vessels have been hailed. 56 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

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Non-Aligned Movement Conference: Cuba Condemns NATO Attacks Against Libya As International Crime

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5768:cuba-describes-aggression-against-libya-as-a-crime&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

Cuban News Agency
May 26, 2011

Cuba Describes Aggression against Libya as a Crime

-NATO’s strategic concept, which was updated on November 19, 2010, in a Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, not only unilaterally redefines what it regards as risks for its member countries, but it also establishes the access to energy as a strategic target….[A]ccording to that concept, crises and conflicts outside NATO’s borders can turn into a direct threat for the security of the territories and the peoples of the Alliance, which will lead to NATO’s involvement wherever and whenever it can.

Havana, Cuba: Cuba denounced during the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference, in Bali, Indonesia, the aggression against Libya by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as constituting an international crime.

During his speech at the meeting, the Cuban deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Abelardo Moreno, rejected and condemned the aggression carried out as part of the implementation of Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council.

According to the Prensa Latina agency news, Moreno noted that the recent events in Libya concern everyone and warned that this could also happen in other NAM member nations.

The diplomat stated that the U.S. and NATO are getting increasingly more effective in the imposition of actions at all levels of the UN, which opposes the original reasons that gave birth to this organization.

He pointed out that NATO’s strategic concept, which was updated on November 19, 2010, in a Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, not only unilaterally redefines what it regards as risks for its member countries, but it also establishes the access to energy as a strategic target.

Moreno explained that, according to that concept, crises and conflicts outside NATO’s borders can turn into a direct threat for the security of the territories and the peoples of the Alliance, which will lead to NATO’s involvement wherever and whenever it can.

The diplomat said that the Cuban people cannot accept the use of all available means allegedly for the sake of the protection of civilians, making reference to the concept used for the bomb attacks in Libya.

Cuba’s permanent representative to the UN, Pedro Nuñez Mosquera, also condemned the hypocrisy in the use of the concept last May 10 and stated that it was just a pretext to achieve political and economic interests.

On that occasion, Nuñez warned that there are still many aspects to clarify in this sense such as deciding who needs protection and when, what are the grounds and criteria for deciding those actions, and which are the boundaries.

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NATO Defies Africa By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/27/c_13897685.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 27, 2011

Africa demands fall on deaf ears amid NATO bombardment on Libya
By Tichaona Chifamba

-In essence, the leaders’ demand for a ceasefire is of no consequence as the western powers have so far simply ignored it, in the same way the French helped remove former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo, despite African resistance to foreign military intervention.
-As NATO continues with its bombardment on Libya and ignoring the AU’s demands, African leaders find themselves stuck with a resolution they cannot enforce.

HARARE: As African leaders recently demanded from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that NATO stop its bombardment on Libya, the West disregarded the call and was in fact intensifying its war against Muammar Gaddafi.

The African leaders met on May 25-26 to find a solution to Libya’s crisis following three months of rebellion that have seen Britain, France and the United States leading a Western onslaught against a stubborn Gaddafi who has vowed to fight to the last drop of blood.

While the leaders have said only a political solution will resolve the country’s problems and want NATO to cease its operations, they remain powerless in the face of Western powers which are unfazed and have vowed to see Gaddafi removed from power.

In essence, the leaders’ demand for a ceasefire is of no consequence as the western powers have so far simply ignored it, in the same way the French helped remove former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo, despite African resistance to foreign military intervention.

British Prime Minister David on Thursday authorized the use of helicopters in Libya, in total disregard to the African position.

Sky News reported Friday morning that the British Apache helicopters would be deployed over Libya in the following 24 hours to boost the campaign against Gaddafi.

Cameron also confirmed that French helicopters would also be deployed to Libya, as NATO forces seek to be more accurate in dealing with ground targets.

The NATO presence in Africa, the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and the support for new governments in Tunisia and Egypt – to mention a few cases – show that the West wants to have greater say in African politics.

And with the G8 offering Arab countries “in transition to democracy” at least 12 billion pounds (nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars) in aid, loans and debt relief, the Libyan conflict is likely to continue as rebels are spurred by the prospect of a financial bailout if they win the war.

Britain is so immersed in the conflict and the “fledgling democracies” in the Arab world that it has also pledged to set aside 110 million pounds (about 181 million U.S. dollars) “over the next four years to foster democracy and economic growth in Tunisia and Egypt as part of a wider international package to show support for the Arab spring.”

Speaking Thursday on the opening day of the G8 summit of leading economies in France, Cameron argued that if Britain did not help the fledgling democracies of North Africa, the result would be poisonous extremism and waves of illegal immigration into the United Kingdom.

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The group of the world’s most industrialized nations, with the exception of Russia, is generally agreed on the course of action against Gaddafi and is determined to see him leave office while backing Arab “democratic transitions.”

As NATO continues with its bombardment on Libya and ignoring the AU’s demands, African leaders find themselves stuck with a resolution they cannot enforce.

The rebels fighting Gaddafi have rejected the latest overtures for a ceasefire by Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, demanding that the only way forward would be Gaddafi’s exit from power.

The AU now pins its hopes on South African President Jacob Zuma, who is scheduled to head other African leaders to Libya in Monday to find a roadmap for a peaceful resolution to the conflict following an earlier unsuccessful trip in April.

What will remain critical, however, is how Zuma and his High Level Panel for the Resolution of the Conflict in Libya will engage NATO following their meeting with Gaddafi in Tripoli.

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Britain Deploys Helicopter Gunships To “Turn The Screw” On Libya

http://www.scotsman.com/news/Britain-sends-in-gunships-to.6775168.jp

The Scotsman
May 27, 2011

Britain sends in gunships to break Gaddafi
Four Apache helicopters are to be deployed against Gaddafi’s forces in Libya and could be active within days
By Nick Eardley

Prime Minister David Cameron has approved the use of British helicopters in Libya as Nato forces look to “turn the screw” on Muammar Gaddafi, it was confirmed last night.

The announcement came after Mr Cameron reached the decision following a meeting of the UK’s National Security Council at Downing Street yesterday.

The Apache aircraft could participate in strikes within days.

The French government had already confirmed it would send Tigre helicopters to aid the campaign against the Libyan regime, suggesting they expected their British counterparts to do the same…..

The final decision lay with Cameron, who held discussions with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G8 summit in France yesterday.

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Four Apache helicopters will now be put at the disposal at the Nato command in the country, alongside existing warplane deployments and the 12 French attack helicopters Mr Sarkozy has already approved.

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Attack helicopters are capable of flying close to the ground and are expected to target Gaddafi’s forces around Misrata and other urban areas. They are likely to be used to attack a wider range of targets than long-distance aircraft and can reach speeds of 362km/h.

The Apache helicopters also have thermal imaging capabilities and can take enhanced video images that have been used in Afghanistan. There had been fears that low-flying aircraft would be at increased risk of being hit by surface-to-air missiles, which Col Gaddafi’s followers are believed to have access to.

The helicopters are normally based in Suffolk, though they are currently on an exercise in the Mediterranean. It is understood they will be based at HMS Ocean. It is likely they will be deployed within days.

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Meanwhile, RAF jets have attacked a military vehicle depot in the Libyan desert.

Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of Defence Staff’s spokesman, said last night: “A major target for the Royal Air Force contingent yesterday was the large military vehicle depot at Tiki in the west….Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, accompanied by other Nato aircraft, used Paveway guided bombs to attack multiple targets within the depot, causing very extensive damage.”

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H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group In NATO Exercise En Route To Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60652

Navy NewsStand
May 27, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Visits First Overseas Port
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Walter, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, England: The Norfolk, Va.-based USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) anchored off the coast of Portsmouth, England, May 26, marking the first ever overseas port call for the nation’s newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

Nearly 5,000 Sailors of George H.W. Bush and embarked Carrier Air Wing Eight will spend several days visiting the historic port and the capital city of London….

The scheduled port call follows George H.W. Bush’s participation in the eight-day, multi-national military exercise Saxon Warrior 11, which was hosted by the U.K.-based Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).

The guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103), assigned to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, also arrived in Portsmouth for its first foreign port call. Both ships departed Norfolk, Va., May 11 on their first combat deployment.

Note: The original article from the Stop NATO News is much longer. It’s edited and shortened for this posting.

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