NATO chief calls for more planes to bomb Libyan targets

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Netherlands

From Aaron Gray-Block, Reuters:  NATO members should supply more warplanes to bomb Libyan military targets, the alliance’s secretary-general said on Thursday, increasing pressure on states to contribute more to the mission. . . .

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday, called on the Netherlands and other members of the alliance to consider their contributions to the mission, stressing the need for air-to-ground strikes.

"We can’t protect civilians in Libya effectively if we are not prepared to take out critical military units on the ground that can be used to attack civilians. This is the reason why we do air-to-ground strikes," Rasmussen said.

"I encourage all allies that have aircraft at their disposal to take part in that operation as well," Rasmussen said in The Hague after a meeting with Rutte.

"I hope the Dutch government, like all other governments, will continuously consider adaptations of the strategy."

The Netherlands recently extended its contribution to the Libya mission by three months, but Rutte said on Thursday Dutch planes will not take part in bombing Libyan targets.  (photo: Reuters)

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