Entries in Coalition (4)


France Recognizes New Syrian Coalition; May Arm Rebels 

BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/GettyImages(PARIS) -- France has taken the step of formally recognizing the new Syrian opposition coalition as the “only representative of the Syrian people and therefore as the future provisional government of a democratic Syria.” With that, France became the only Western nation so far to recognize the coalition.

President Hollande says the question of whether to send weapons to the rebels -- a policy opposed by France until now -- will be reconsidered. He added that a military operation to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would only include France if the United Nations approved it.

The U.S. and Britain have been more cautious, backing the coalition but stopping short of formal recognition. Gulf Arab states -- but not the Arab League -- have also recognized the new umbrella group.

Questions remain about the coalition's legitimacy in the eyes of armed rebels on the ground as well as minority groups inside Syria, some of which are rumored to have ties to Al Qeada and other terror groups.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi Forces Pound Rebel Strongholds as Coalition Mulls Next Move

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- The allied effort to put pressure on Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi seems to have emboldened those fighting to keep him in power.

Despite claiming a ceasefire, pro-government fighters continued their onslaught on cities where rebel forces maintain control.  In the city of Misurata, there were reports Tuesday of 40 people killed and 189 wounded by Gadhafi loyalists.

The Western coalition may be planning a stronger response to neutralize Gadhafi's forces attacking Misurata.  Direct attacks on his ground troops are expected in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the coalition led by the U.S. has intensified missile attacks on targets in Tripoli.  It's believed the mission that began last Saturday to knock out Libyan air defense and establish a no-fly zone over the country is near completion.

The bombing in Tripoli, however, didn't deter Gadhafi from making an appearance Tuesday night outside his compound there, where he vowed his forces would achieve victory against the rebels and foreign coalition.

"We will be victorious in the end … I do not fear storms that sweep the horizon, nor do I fear the planes that throw black destruction," the Libyan leader said.  "This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history."

"I am resistant, my house is here in my tent... I am the rightful owner, and the creator of tomorrow," he added.  "I am here.  I am here.  I am here."

Still, Gadhafi may have suffered a personal loss.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday there were unconfirmed reports that one of Gadhafi's six sons, Khamis Gadhafi, was killed in a suicide attack Saturday.

As the conflict continues, President Obama has spoken of a limited action in Libya and for the U.S. to hand over leadership responsibility for the effort to the allies in a "matter of days."

His goal is being complicated by arguments among the allies on how the campaign, dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn, will continue and who exactly will be in charge.  To that end, Obama, who is wrapping up a trip in South and Central America, spoke with his counterparts in Britain and France to get them on board with a plan to allow NATO to head the mission.

However, NATO members in Brussels failed to reach a consensus on the command structure for a second day Tuesday.  The French have suggested a political steering committee, compromised of the 13 members taking part in Operation Odyssey Dawn, to oversee NATO command and control responsibilities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coalition Attacks on Libya Intensify as Gadhafi's Compound Is Hit

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman/Released(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- U.S. military attacks on Libya intensified Monday and are targeting Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses, troops and warplanes.

The action follows Sunday's missile raids that struck "military assets" within Gadhafi's compound and a barrage of airstrikes by U.S. and European militaries that destroyed Libyan defenses, rocked the capitol of Tripoli and buoyed the spirits of the opposition.

Vice Adm. William Gortney said on Sunday that the United States was "not targeting Gadhafi," and that the strike that hit Gadhafi's compound was not carried out by the U.S.

A United Nations-backed no-fly zone is being enforced by the U.S., British and French aircraft from Tripoli to Benghazi and the top third of the country.  Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Qatar have also joined the coalition.

While U.S. forces have clearly taken the lead in this initial assault, on Sunday Secretary of Defense Robert Gates downplayed the U.S. role in the coalition.

"We will continue to support the coalition, we will be a member of the coalition, we will have a military role in the coalition.  But we will not have the preeminent role," he said.

Throughout Sunday night, U.S. warplanes, including Marine Corps Harrier Jets launched from U.S. ships in the Mediterranean along with Air Force fighter jets, took aim at a convoy of Ghadhafi's troops southwest of Benghazi -- the rebel stronghold that the Libyan leader has vowed to take back.

While fighter jets were pounding Gadhafi's forces in the east, three B2 stealth bombers dropped 45 2,000-pound bombs on a military airfield near Misrata.  The bombs struck multiple shelters housing Gadhafi's warplanes.

In addition, another dozen or so Tomahawk missiles were fired from ships in the Mediterranean.  More than 120 have now been launched, with Gadhafi's surface to air missiles now considered seriously degraded.

It is believed now that Gadhafi's forces are under significant stress, and are suffering from isolation and a good deal of confusion.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Afghan Soldier Turns On, Kills Coalition Counterpart

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BAGHLAN, Afghanistan) -- A person wearing an Afghan army uniform turned his gun on the coalition soldier he was working with Friday, killing him and another soldier in the northern district of Baghlan. Other coalition soldiers then fired at the Afghan soldier, wounding him critically.

Local police say the two soldiers were German. At least eight others were injured in the attacks.

These kinds of shootings have increased in the last year. This is the second case in just the last month. On Jan. 20, an Afghan soldier killed two Italian soldiers before escaping a base in western Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio