Libyan rebels gain ground, more targets struck: Pentagon

08:15, March 29, 2011      

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Libyan rebels take cover during a failed attempt to take the eastern Libyan city of Sirte, March 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Nasser Nouri)

Libyan anti-government forces have now control of the town of Ajdabiyah, and is pushing toward Sirte, while the coalition continued to pound government forces, Bill Gortney, director of the U.S. Joint Staff, told a Pentagon briefing Monday.

Gortney said the Libyan anti-government forces have pushed government forces from Ajdabiyah westward to within 60 miles of Sirte, the birthplace of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

While the rebels are gaining ground, Gortney said the gains they made are tenuous as the rebels are not very well organized. He also acknowledged the coalition is not in direct contact with the rebels, and admitted the United States is seeking to fill knowledge gaps as to who the rebels actually are.

He said coalition forces struck during the past 24 hours more government targets, including Libya government's 32 Brigade, one of its most loyal and active during the government offensive. The coalition also struck bunkers and ammunition storage facilities near Tripoli.

According to the statistics Gortney provided, U.S. military still deliver the lion's share of attacks as well as flew the most missions. U.S. military introduced AC-130 gunships and A-10 Thunderbolts to the Libyan theater over the weekend. The planes can fly low over target with immense firepower that supports advancing ground troops. The use of these aircraft spurred speculation that the coalition is supporting Libyan rebels against the government forces.

Gortney also said one U.S. submarine was relieved from the Libyan mission.

Source: Xinhua

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