NATO To Take Over No-Fly Zone in Libya


According to the French Ministry of Defense, stealth fighters were alerted by an AWACS surveillance plane that the Libyan jet was airborne over Misrata . The galeb -- a single-engine military aircraft -- that was violating the no-fly rule apparently quickly landed, but that didn't save it.

"The French patrol carried out an air-to-ground strike using an A2SM missile while the fighter jet of Colonel Gadhafi's forces had just landed at the military base in Misrata," the French statement said.

Ham told ABC News that Gadhafi's forces are advancing in the northwest city of Misrata, with his men dressing as civilians. Ham said there are still plenty of command and control centers left for the allied forces to target.

Gadhafi is aware there will be a transfer of power from the United States in the coming days, Ham said, and the embattled leader seems to think he will wait it out until the United States no longer has command. He said the coalition is targeting fewer fixed sites and focusing more on targeting Gadhafi's ground forces that are besieging cities across the country.

"Early on in the campaign, we were targeting air defense command and control systems, weapons sites, those kinds of fixed sites and we are doing less of that and we are doing more what we call dynamic targeting -- regime ground forces that are engaging civilians in a number of cities across the country," Ham said.

The most challenging task, however, has been protecting civilians, Ham said.

"We remain very, very conscious and very careful about civilian casualties. It's very difficult to assess what the effect of an attack might be in those built-up areas and secondly it's difficult to distinguish between opposition forces and regime forces," he told ABC News. "It's very difficult to discern who is attacking who in those very complex situations. It is the toughest thing we have to do right now and we're working very hard to do that."

The Tomahawk missile strikes have effectively degraded Libyan air defenses to the point that the coalition has not recorded any radar activity coming from Libya. No Libyan planes had flown since the start of the operations on Saturday but the threat from Gadhafi is not over.

Gadhafi's Bab Al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli was struck again by coalition forces overnight for a second time. The compound was originally hit on Sunday by two British tomahawk missiles.

The latest strike on the Al-Aziziya compound was not a pre-scheduled target, a U.S. official said. Instead, it was more likely an opportune target, in that the pilots did not go out intending to target the compound, but may have seen something worth attacking, the official said.

Rebels continue to fight though they remain besieged by Gadhafi's forces.

In Ajdabiayh, just west of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, rebels bombed Gadhafi's outposts. Fighters armed with anti-aircraft guns held up peace signs, which has become a symbol of this revolution.

"Gadhafi's forces are weak and isolated," said one man confidently. "We need heavy weapons and aerial support to confront their tanks."

But Gadhafi's forces are still firing away, not giving in.

They are also on the offensive in the west. Despite international air strikes, the rebel-held cities of Misrata and Zintan continue to be attacked, and their residents are pleading for help.

Multiple explosions rocked the capital of Tripoli overnight as Gadhafi's compound was bombed for the second time in a week.

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