NATO preparing military action plan against Gaddafi

NATO preparing military action plan against Gaddafi
# 19 March 2011 18:09 (UTC +04:00)
Ambassadors of the 28 member nations of the alliance were mulling the details of a military mission to curb the Gaddafi regime.
"This is a huge operation, which must be minutely planned. We want to be ready to go when necessary," said one diplomat.
The NATO talks are expected to go on all weekend, and focus on the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.
There is no authorization as yet for air strikes against Gaddafi’s ground forces.
It is unclear which countries will participate in the no-fly zone. French planes have already begun missions, with Britain likely to join them. Italy has said it will provide military airports.
The discussions are focussing on the logistics of the military means - aircraft and weaponry - and the exact goals of the mission.
According to diplomats, NATO would first attempt to destroy Gaddafi’s radar and air defences.
A second goal may be to stop from the air the advance eastwards of Gaddafi’s ground forces.
Air cover would need to be provided out of Cyprus, Sicily and possibly some aircraft carriers, such as the French "Charles de Gaulle."
Belgium has already pledged the use of six F16 fighter-bombers. "The end of the Gaddafi regime is the absolute priority - a regime that is killing its own citizens," Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme told Belgian radio RTBF on Saturday.