US to deploy drones against Kadhafi in Libya: Gates

WASHINGTON- The US military will use armed drones over Libya, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, calling them a "modest contribution" to international coalition efforts there.
Gates said the decision to use unmanned drones armed with missiles was made "because of the humanitarian situation" in Libya, where strongman Moamer Kadhafi's forces are battling a Western-backed insurgency.

US to deploy drones against Kadhafi in Libya: Gates
Gates said the unmanned aircraft will be useful because of "their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on particularly targets now that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions."
He said the drones "are uniquely suited" for the mission in Libya for use on a 24-hour basis in urban areas, and to limit collateral damage.
"They give you a capability that even the A10 (anti-tank aircraft) and AC130 (ground attack aircraft) couldn't provide" in the conflict in the North African nation, he told a press briefing.
General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said two drones were to be over Libya starting Thursday but that the deployment was delayed due to poor weather.
Gates said that the deployment represents "a very limited additional role on our part," in Libya but argued that it did not mean "mission creep" for the United States.
The US military uses drones in Pakistan to kill Taliban fighters and members of Al-Qaeda.

Friday, April 22nd 2011

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