Libya Update: NATO

By Christopher J. Castelli / April 1, 2011 at 6:36 PM

NATO today issued an update on its military intervention in Libya. On March 27, the alliance opted to take control of all military operations against the Libyan government under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. NATO's Operation Unified Protector aims to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under attack or threat of attack, a mission that includes an arms embargo, a no-fly-zone and "actions to protect civilians from attack or the threat of attack," according to the update.

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00 GMT), a total of 178 sorties have been conducted, including 74 strike sorties, NATO says. In terms of arms embargo activities, a total of 17 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean, NATO says, noting two vessels have been hailed to determine destination and cargo but no boardings were required.

NATO’s operational commander for Operation Unified Protector is Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of the Canadian air force at the Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.