Pentagon chief hails 'effective' Libya air war
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta hailed NATO's air campaign in Libya Friday as he met US Navy personnel involved in operations at the allied joint force command base in Naples.
Panetta thanked personnel for their role in "what has proven to be a very effective air operation."
He also received a briefing and intelligence update from Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who is leading the air war, and other top brass.
The Pentagon chief on Thursday called the NATO intervention a "remarkable achievement" and hailed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime. He made his comments after talks with fellow allied defence ministers in Brussels.
He said that allies were considering when to halt the bombing campaign and that it would depend in part on the strength of local forces on the ground, who have encircled Gaddafi's loyalists in two key regime bastions.
NATO defence ministers reached a consensus on the conditions for ending the six-month Libya air war, he said. Panetta said there were four "guidelines" for deciding on when to halt the campaign.
[Source: Daily Times, AFP, Naples, 08Oct11]
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