West backs off calls for Libya regime change as Qaddafi warns of 'long war'
French, US, and British airstrikes have crippled Libyan coastal defenses and air abilities as the largest coalition of military force since the Iraq war enters its second day.
Scott Pittman/Navy Visual News Service/AP
European and US airstrikes continued to pound Libyan military positions Sunday for the second day of "Operation Odyssey Dawn,” hours after Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi promised a “long war” from an undisclosed bunker.
Some 20 French jets including Mirages crippled Libya coastal defenses Saturday as US and British forces also launched 112 Tomahawk missiles in the first of a multi-phase operation that is the largest coalition of military forces since the Iraq war.
"I would say the no-fly zone is effectively in place," US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told CNN on Sunday, explaining that allied forces have wiped out Libyan airfields and defenses.
Gulf nations Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will also send air forces as part of the Arab League’s support of a no-fly zone. Arab nations have requested, however, that world leaders not call for regime change, but leave this to the Libyan people.
Qaddafi warns of 'long war'
Colonel Qaddafi has characterized the fight, inaugurated by a robust UN Security Council resolution Thursday calling for “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people, as a war by the Christian world bent on securing oil.