Middle-East

Obama Says Military Mission in Libya Succeeding

Washington (Xinhua): U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the military mission in Libya was “clear and focused” and achieving success.

Obama asserted in his weekly radio and Internet address that the U.S.-led coalition was succeeding in its mission by taking out Libya’s air defenses and preventing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from “advancing across Libya.”

Obama said it was in the U.S. national interest as well as U.S. responsibility to act in Libya.

“Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused,” Obama told his audience, saying the United States and its allies were protecting Libyan civilians and had put in place a no-fly zone over Libya and other measures to prevent “further atrocities.”

He reiterated that the United States would not commit ground forces to Libya and the role of American forces had been limited.

“And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners,” he said, stressing that “this is how the international community should work — more nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding peace and security.”

NATO on Thursday agreed to assume command of the Libya no-fly zone from the United States, but remained undecided over whether to take on broader responsibility, including airstrikes on ground assets in the North African country.

Meanwhile, Obama has been criticized both by the media and politicians in the United States for his ambiguity on the goal and what the endgame should look like.

The White House has rejected the criticism, saying the president had briefed Congress and the public extensively before military action began last Saturday.

However, on Friday afternoon, Obama held a conference call at the White House to brief a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers on the situation in Libya.

And he will update the American people Monday evening on the events unfolding in Libya, including the ongoing military actions, the transition to NATO command and control and his policy for the future of the operation, according to the White House.P Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are scheduled to hold a classified briefing on Libya next Wednesday for lawmakers.

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