Amid differences among allies about how to manage the five-day-old military campaign in Libya, airstrikes continued to rock Tripoli early on Wednesday while some units loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were reported to have ceased firing on a key rebel-held city after allied airplanes attacked loyalist tanks and artillery.
At sea, news reports said six NATO warships had started patrolling off Libya’s coast Wednesday to enforce a United Nations arms embargo, but Germany, which has opposed military intervention in the Libya crisis, said it was withdrawing four of its ships in the Mediterranean from NATO command. To offset the impact of its action on other NATO allies, Germany said it would send 300 more troops to Afghanistan to help operate surveillance aircraft, German officials said.
A senior British commander said Wednesday that the allies had effectively destroyed the Libyan air force and air defenses and were now able to operate “with near impunity” across the country, Reuters reported. “We are now applying sustained and unrelenting pressure on the Libyan armed forces,” the commander, Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell, said at an airbase in southern Italy where British warplanes are based.
Nato Ships Patrol Libyan Coast
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