NATO's agreement to take over no-fly operations in Libya fulfills Obama's promise that US involvement would be limited. Alliance members authorize a 'civilian protection mission.'
A last-minute objection by Turkey on what it feared would be a broad interpretation of a mandate to protect Libyan civilians put off at least once an announcement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that agreement had been reached.
But by Thursday night, Mr. Rasmussen announced at NATO headquarters in Brussels that all of the alliance’s 28 member states had agreed to NATO taking over responsibilities for the United Nations-authorized no-fly zone.
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed the transfer of command and control to NATO and said members of the alliance had agreed to authorize NATO authorities to undertake a “broader civilian protection mission.” The precise terms of that mission, however, will be defined in the coming days.
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