US rebuffed French call to resume Libya ops: Juppe

The United States rebuffed a French request for US warplanes to resume major air raids in Libya, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said after talks with US counterpart Hillary Clinton.

Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 23:37 PM IST

Berlin: The United States rebuffed a
French request for US warplanes to resume major air raids in
Libya, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday after
talks with US counterpart Hillary Clinton.

"I discussed this with Mrs Clinton and they will
continue along the same line, which is to provide planes on a
case by case basis," Juppe told reporters on the sidelines of
a NATO foreign ministers` meeting in Berlin.

"I told her we needed them back, we would have liked
them to return."

Juppe said the US military has "particularly useful"
assets at its disposal.

The United States pulled back around 50 combat planes
from Libyan operations last week after handing over control of
the mission to NATO, but the Pentagon said yesterday that US
planes attacked air defence targets three times since then.

The US military possesses AC-130 gunships armed with
highly-destructive cannons and high-firing machine guns.

Britain and France, which are carrying out the bulk of
air strikes in Libya, have pressed NATO allies to contribute
more planes and intensify air raids against Muammar Gaddafi`s
forces.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said
earlier that alliance commanders said they needed more
"high-precision" aircraft but had not received any firm
pledges from governments.

PTI