NATO: combat air patrols over Libya to continue until all pro-Gadhafi forces surrender

French jets participating in military operation over Libya, March 30, 2011.

From the AP:  NATO will continue its combat air patrols over Libya until all pro-Gadhafi forces surrender or return to barracks, officials said Monday.

Moammar Gadhafi must step down immediately in order to save lives and allow for a peaceful transition, said a NATO official who could not be identified under standing rules.

NATO has demanded that all regime troops return to barracks as a condition for the airstrikes to end

“In the meantime, NATO aircraft will continue to protect the civilian population as mandated by the United Nations,” the official said. . . .

NATO will continue to monitor Gadhafi’s military units and will engage them if they make any threatening moves, [NATO Secretary General Anders] Fogh Rasmussen said. . . .

The jets have hit at least 40 targets in and around Tripoli in the past two days. This was the highest number on a single geographic location since the bombing started more than five months ago, officials said.  (photo: Getty)

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