NATO has agreed to relieve the United States of responsibility for enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya, a NATO official said today.
The diplomatic movement came on the same day that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi challenged the no-fly zone only to see one of his few remaining planes destroyed by a French jet.
The official said that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will shortly go into a meeting of the North Atlantic Council where a formal consensus will be reached for NATO to assume the no-fly zone responsibilities for Libya. After what is expected to be a brief meeting, Rasmussen will announce the arrangement.
They won’t say it’s a deal until every one of the 28 NATO members in the room agrees with NATO taking over the no-fly zone.
“We are very close,” the NATO official said.
The no-fly zone order will go from the NATO Council to Adm. James Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander on down the chain to the component commanders. On Wednesday, NATO announced it was taking responsibility for enforcing the naval arms embargo for Libya.
The United States will remain part of the Operation Dawn, but it we will have limited participation going forward, which would include contributing tankers and personnel recovery teams, but not an Airborne Warning and Control System, Africa Command’s Gen. Carter F. Ham told ABC News in an exclusive interview.
Fully story: NATO To Take Over No-Fly Zone in Libya – ABC News