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NATO assumes formally command of Libya air operations

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, March 31, IRNA -- NATO has formally taken over full command of air strike missions against Libya, the Brussels-based western military pact announced on its homepage on Thursday.

'On Thursday morning at 0600 GMT, NATO took sole command of international air operations over Libya,' it said.

'The Alliance has the assets in place to conduct its tasks under Operation Unified Protector – the arms embargo, no-fly zone and actions to protect civilians and civilian centres,' NATO added.

It stressed that in line with the mandate of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, NATO’s focus was on 'protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas against the threat of attack.'

NATO member states have been deeply divided on the role of the western military alliance in war-stricken Libya.

A key NATO member, Germany has refused to participate in NATO's military campaign in the north African country.

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