US Planes Still Bombing Libya
Warplanes enforcing no-fly zone, Pentagon says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2011 4:36 AM CDT
A Libyan rebel pickup truck armed with a rocket launcher guards the western gate of the strategic city of Ajdabiya yesterday.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – American warplanes have attacked sites in Libya three times since the US said it was ending its air combat role in Libya earlier this month, the Pentagon has confirmed. Defense officials say the American attacks on surface-to-air missiles sites do not contradict administration claims to have shifted US involvement to a supporting role. They stress that the attacks were part of efforts to enforce the no-fly zone and that the mission to protect civilians is still in NATO's hands, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Libyan rebels, meanwhile, are urging the US to resume a more aggressive role and help them tip the balance against Moammar Gadhafi's forces. The crown prince of Qatar added his voice to calls for a more robust American effort, AP reports. "It is time to help the Libyan people defend themselves, and to defend the Libyan people," he said. "And what are the rebels except civilians who have taken up arms to defend themselves in a difficult situation and an uneven battle?" His country is one of the few Arab nations contributing to the air campaign and has been helping the rebels sell oil from areas under their control.