Rebels should not doubt NATO support-deputy commander

Libyan rebels have no reason to lack confidence in the support of NATO, the deputy commander of the alliance's operations in Libya said on Wednesday.

Rear Admiral Russell Harding made the comment in response to the commander of Libya's rebel army, who angrily accused NATO of being too slow to act against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi and said civilians were dying as a result.

"Libya must be 800 miles wide and in all that air space we are dominating, so perhaps, and I am not criticising anyone, in one or two areas, if they don't hear us or see us, I can understand how that might lead to a lack of confidence," Harding said.

"But I can reassure you that at every hour of every day we are watching what is going on in Libya and making sure that we are protecting civilians," he told a news conference at NATO's southern European headquarters.

[Source: Reuters, Naples, 06Apr11]

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