U.S. Defense Secretary does not know how long no-fly zone might be in place in Libya

The U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he does not know how long the no-fly zone might be in place in Libya, CBS News TV-channel reported.

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

“I don’t think anybody has any idea,” Gates said.

“I think the military mission has gone quite well,” he said. “I think we have been successful a lot,” Gates continued. “You know, there was never any doubt in my mind that we could quickly establish the no-fly zone, and suppress [Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s] air defenses.”

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO may decide within hours on taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, NATO press-service said on Sunday.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of the 27 European Union states on Thursday issued a statement saying the EU stood ready to assist in building a new Libya “in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others.”

WASHINGTON, March 27 (RIA Novosti)


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