US eye more firepower to hit pro-Gaddafi forces

Pro-Gaddafi forces still remain a potent threat to civilians, according to Pentagon officials.

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2011, 18:16 PM IST

Washington: Battered by a week of allied
air strikes, forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
still remain a potent threat to civilians, according to
Pentagon officials, who are considering more firepower and
airborne surveillance systems to find and attack the enemy
troops.

As the military eyes other tools in its arsenal, the
White House announced late Friday that President Barack Obama
will give a speech to Americans on Monday evening explaining
his decision-making on Libya to a public weary after a decade
of war.

The timing comes as Republicans and Democrats have
complained that the president has not sought their input about
the US role in the war or explained with enough clarity about
the US goals and exit strategy.

Among the weapons being eyed for use in Libya is the
Air Force`s AC-130 gunship, an imposing aircraft armed with
cannons that shoot from the side doors with precision.

Other possibilities are helicopters and drones that
fly lower and slower and can spot more than fast-moving jet
fighters.

With the US pressing to shift full command of the
Libya air campaign to the NATO alliance, the discussion of
adding weapons to step up the assault on Gaddafi`s ground
troops reflects the challenges the coalition faces in hitting
the right targets.

US-led forces began launching missile strikes last
Saturday against the defenses of embattled Libyan strongman
Moammar Gaddafi to establish a no-fly zone and prevent him
from attacking his own people.

PTI

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