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UK defends military action against Libya

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, March 21, IRNA -- The British government has responded to criticism of the scale of military attacks launched in Libya by insisting that it is in line with the UN mandate provided by last week's Security Council resolution.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said that the regime of Muammar Gaddafi had in recent days declared a ceasefire which was “promptly violated” and that the UK government had warned “we would judge him on his actions not his words - and we will do so again.”

'His obligations are very clearly set out by the UN Security Council Resolution. Our assessment is that he is in breach of these obligations so we will continue to enforce the resolution,' the spokesman said.

The British Foreign Office also insisted that “unlike Gaddifi, the coalition is not attacking civilians” and that the UN resolution “authorises all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.”

“For the No Fly Zone to be enforced safely, it is necessary to carry out carefully targeted operations against Libyan air defence capabilities. All missions are meticulously planned to ensure every care is taken to avoid civilian casualties,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

One of the main criticism came for the Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa, who condemned the 'bombardment of civilians' in Libya and that it “differs from the no-fly zone objectives.”

But the Foreign Office said that the allies of the UK, US and France would “continue to work with our Arab partners to enforce the resolution for the good of the Libyan people.”

Arab support was a main condition set by Cameron for Nato to police Libyan airspace to ensure that any military action was not seen as the West again attacking yet another Muslim country.

Criticism of the coalition's military attacks has also come from former Director-General at the UK's Ministry of Defence Rear-Admiral Chris Parry, who said there appears to be no cohesive plan for the operations.

Writing in The Times newspaper Monday, Parry said military intervention has been initiated without an identifiable end-state or joined-up strategy, warning that some form of intervention on the ground was required if major loss of life is to be avoided.

It remains uncertain whether the coalition of countries involved in the intervention, or Nato, has a mature strategy for deciding on what happens next in Libya, he said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30307324

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