FACTBOX-Western military assault on Libya's Gaddafi

Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:52pm GMT

March 23 (Reuters) - Below is a synopsis of military action in Libya so far, beginning with latest developments. New items marked with a *


* -- Allied forces carried out air strikes against military and civilian targets in Tripoli, Libyan state television reported. It gave no further details in the report, attributed to a military source.

* -- Western warplanes hit Libyan air defenses and an armoured column to the east of the rebel-held town of Misrata, but Gaddafi's tanks kept up their shelling to the west of Misrata, killing dozens there so far this week.

* -- Allied forces have destroyed the Libyan air force and are flying with impunity across its airspace, attacking ground troops wherever they threaten the civilian population, a senior British commander says.

* -- The United States bombed the wreckage of an F-15 fighter jet that went down in Libya due to mechanical failure, a U.S. military official says. The official said the wreckage was bombed overnight "to prevent materials from getting into the wrong hands."

* -- Western governments inch closer to a deal over who should lead military operations against Gaddafi's forces, with France saying NATO will have only a "technical role."

* -- Turkey has offered four frigates, a submarine and a support ship for a NATO mission to help enforce a U.N. arms embargo on Libya, the Western military alliance says.

* -- Forces loyal to Gaddafi have resumed their bombardment of the rebel-held town of Zintan, about 90 km (55 miles) south-west of the capital, a resident says   Continued...

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