Monday 18 December 2017

Experts warn NATO lacks firepower to finish Gaddafi

Ruth Sherlock in Misurata and Damien McElroy

Nato lacks the firepower to ensure the collapse of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, defence experts warned yesterday after the Libyan army inflicted a sustained rocket attack on the city of Misurata.

The Western alliance marks 100 days of bombing Libya tomorrow with political leaders adamant that the regime is isolated and collapsing from within. However, defence analysts said it had still not identified a clear line of attack that would break Gaddafi's grip on power.

"This campaign is about inflicting pain on the regime but there is no precedent where air power alone has taken a government down without encircling the city," said Shashank Joshi, of the Royal United Services Institute.

The regime has shown an ability to overcome setbacks and take advantage of gaps in the coalition air strikes.

A senior Foreign Office diplomat insisted that "the momentum has shifted irrevocably against Gaddafi and those around him", but a Nato official admitted that planners could not bring overwhelming force against the regime.

"Libya is a big country and there will naturally be a limit to what Nato does," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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