You say you want a revolution… It looks like we’ve got a coalition and some extra missiles laying around, so we’re off:
The UK, US and France have attacked Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the first action to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone.
Pentagon officials say the US and the UK have fired more than 110 missiles, while French planes struck pro-Gaddafi forces attacking rebel-held Benghazi.
Col Gaddafi has vowed retaliation and said he will open arms depots to the people to defend Libya.
Missiles struck air defence sites in the capital, Tripoli, and Misrata.
A French plane fired the first shots against Libyan government targets at 1645 GMT, destroying a number of military vehicles, according to a military spokesman.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that British planes are in action over Libya.
And with similar coverage:
The United States and United Kingdom attacks on Libya’s integrated air-defense systems began a planned multiphase assault to reduce the risks for subsequent overflights by allies’ fighter and surveillance aircraft.
The opening rounds of “Operation Odyssey Dawn” followed the script of major operations since 1991 with the launch of Raytheon Co. (RTN) Tomahawk cruise missiles to clear a path for manned aircraft. Yesterday’s strike involved 110 missiles against 20 targets; in contrast 288 Tomahawks were fired in the opening hours of the 1991 Gulf War.
A major target was Muammar Qaddafi’s SA-5 missiles, which at their longest range of 300 kilometers provide “significant standoff capability,” said a Pentagon statement. Libya also has about 50 SA-6 missiles, the type Bosnian Serbs used to shoot down U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady’s F-16 in 1995.
Libya’s integrated air defense system, similar to Iraq’s, had about 30 surface-to-air missile sites, linked by 15 early warning radar installations along the Mediterranean coastline. They posed a “significant threat” to foreign warplanes over or near Libyan airspace, according to declassified Pentagon data.
“ Any time you go against an installed air defense system, you have to take it seriously,” Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughhead said in a recent interview.
Yes, a lovely name even. Operation Odyssey Dawn. How catchy. Wikipedia has a good entry on the Libyan uprising this year so far.
This is an open thread.