Accessibility links

Breaking News

NATO Says 'Has The Resources' To Maintain Libya Mission


A French Navy fighter jet takes off from the "Charles de Gaulle" aircraft carrier in the Mediteranean early in NATO's campaign to protect civilians in Libya.
NATO says it has sufficient resources to continue its air campaign in Libya despite fears the alliance could run out of steam.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told reporters that "It is clear that NATO has the resources to keep up the pressure."

The assurances came days after outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates admonished NATO allies, saying shrinking military budgets put both the Libya mission and the alliance's future at risk.

Libyan rebels meanwhile say they have made fresh gains, pushing back forces loyal to Qaddafi in a string of clashes that brought them closer to the capital, Tripoli.

Insurgents also sought to extend an advance in the east begun on June 12, setting their sights on the oil town of Brega in a bid to extend their control over the region, epicenter of the four-month rebellion against Qaddafi's four-decade rule.

Insurgents say they seized the town of Kikla, southwest of Tripoli, after government troops fell back, and pushed several kilometers west of their Misurata stronghold to the outskirts of government-held Zlitan.

Those reports could not be independently confirmed, however.

Meanwhile, Canada said it would recognize Libya's rebel council as the country's legitimate representative, adding its voice to several other nations, starting with France.

compiled from agency reports