NATO commander: Gaddafi unable to launch offensive

Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO military operation in Libya, April 26, 2011.

From AFP:  Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi are no longer able to launch a credible military offensive, the commander of NATO-led Libyan operations told AFP in an interview Thursday.

"The Kadhafi regime’s forces continue to be weakened, both in strength and their will to fight," Canada’s Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said, speaking from his Italy headquarters, as rebel troops made new advances.

"They are no longer able to launch a credible offensive," he added. . . .

As NATO-led airstrikes have helped the rebels on the ground without managing to decisively turn the tide in the conflict, Kadhafi has brought in fighters from other African countries to bolster his embattled forces.

"We’re seeing lots of mercenaries, ruthless mercenaries that come from other countries and are enlisted by Kadhafi’s forces to inflict extreme violence on men, women and children," Bouchard said.

"The recruiting of these mercenaries continues," he said. "There is a growing demand for their services which lends credibility to the fact that Kadhafi’s forces are being affected by NATO’s actions as well as defections of generals, policemen and even politicians."  (photo: Reuters)

Image: reuters%204%2026%2011%20LtGen%20Charles%20Bouchard.jpg