Gaddafi feels the might of the U.N. resolution


This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

TomahawkMissileLaunchHere is the latest information on what’s happening in Libya as of Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 10am EST. (4pm in Libya)

Codenames for military operations in Libya

Each of the countries currently participating in this first round of military operations in Libya has assigned code names to their undertakings: The United States: Operation Odyssey Dawn; Great Britain: Operation Ellamy; France: Opération Harmattan; Canada: Operation MOBILE. The Canadian forces involved in this undertaking are comprised of:

The HMCS Charlottetown joined the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 on 14 March and is engaged in regional maritime security operations in the central Mediterranean Sea. It is a Halifax class frigate with a crew of about 240 officers and sailors, and a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.

Task Force Libeccio is the air detachment comprised of six CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, two Boeing CC-177 Globemasters and about 200 Canadian Forces personnel, including aircrews and ground technicians. Task Force Libeccio reached the region on 18 March and will require two days to prepare for any missions.

March 19: Saturday Afternoon

Wikipedia summarized Saturday’s action as follows. Keep in mind that the French were the first to fire a shot.

The French Air Force deployed in its first strike force eight Rafale fighters from Saint-Dizier – Robinson Air Base, two Mirage 2000-5 fighters from Nancy – Ochey Air Base, two Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers from Dijon – Longvic Air Base, six C135 aerial refueling planes, and one E-3F Awacs plane from Avord Air Base.

14h: 20 French Rafale patrolled the skies over Benghazi to prohibit the advance of Libyan ground forces.

17h: French Rafale opened fire on a Libyan military vehicle at 17:45, by Department of Defence.

18h: The French Air Force had destroyed one Libyan tank, according to the air force command. However, The Telegraph reported four Libyan tanks destroyed southwest of Benghazi.

March 19: Saturday Evening

21h: The first main strike involved the launch of 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles from US and UK ships against shoreline air defences of the Gaddafi regime.

March 20: Sunday Morning

Sustained Anti-Aircraft fire erupted in Tripoli at around 2:33 AM Libyan time. Three B-2 bombers dropped 40 bombs on a major Libyan airfield.

CNN reported on this incident as they have a team in Tripoli who filmed the anti-aircraft fire. (see video below)

CBS News reports that three B-2 stealth bombers flying non-stop from the United States have dropped 40 bombs on a major Libyan airfield tonight in an attempt to destroy much of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s air force. Apparently Libyan state television said that 48 people have been killed and another150 wounded in the various coalition military actions but state media is controlled by Gaddafi and there is no way of confirming any of this information.

Gaddafi has appeared on state television and promised a long-drawn war (CNN) apparently calling this a confrontation between the Libyan people and “the new Nazis.”

“You have proven to the world that you are not civilized, that you are terrorists — animals attacking a safe nation that did nothing against you,” Gadhafi said in a televised speech. Throughout the address, an image of a golden fist crushing a model plane that said “USA” filled the screen.

It has been reported that Sunday morning, Gaddafi forces were shelling the city of Misrata using tanks, artillery and cannons.

Reuters (9:25am EST) has tweeted that Pro-Gaddafi forces enter centre of rebel-held city of Misrata with tanks, troops; shooting heard and there are casualties – residents.

Some War Notes

We all read the terms in the newspapers but do we actually know what the terms refer to?


Where did the French get the name for their operation?

The Harmattan is a dry and dusty West African trade wind. It blows south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter). The temperatures can be as low as 3 degrees Celsius. On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles (between 0.5 and 10 micrometres). (Wikipedia)

Tracer ammunition

Tracer bullets are special bullets and we’ve all seen them lighting up the night sky but just how do they glow so we can see them?

In the base of the cartridge, there is a small “pyrotechnic charge” which is ignited when the bullet is fired. This phosphorus tail then burns brightly making the projectile visible to the naked eye.

Why do this? The original idea was so that a gunner could see where they were shooting so they could adjust their aim. However, there seems to be a military adage that “tracers work both ways”, that is, the enemy can see where the shooter is. In order to mask the gunner’s position, a tracer was developed whereby the ignition of the phosphorus tail was delayed. (Wikipedia)

Tomahawk Missile

We hear about this missile and have seen it being launched from ships especially during the Gulf War and the Iraq War but just what is it?

A Tomahawk is an unmanned, single-use, programmable jet-engine missile which is built by the U.S. and only used by the U.S. and Britain. They fly close to the ground with guidance systems which allow them to fly around obstacles to hit their target.

They are stored in a canister and can be launched from a ship or a submarine. For launch, pressured gas pushes the missile out of the tube and then a solid-fuel booster rocket takes over for a few seconds. The wings unfold, the air scoop is deployed and the turbofan engine takes over for cruise flight.

This missile was first developed in the 1970s and has been improved over the years. It can carry a number of warheads including multiple warheads, bomblets or even nuclear. Its guidance systems transmit real-time status and accept in-flight commands to change targets. Because the missile is “cruising”, it can also “loiter” until a target becomes available. (Wikipedia)

According to the United States Navy Fact File on the Tomahawk® Cruise Missile, a Tomahawk cost approximately $569,000. (They actually publish this information? And the name is a registered trademark?)

Okay, Saturday’s reports said the U.S. and Britain fired off 110 missiles. By my calculation, that’s nearly $63 million of munitions.

Mar 19/2011

US & Brits Fire Missiles At Libya

[15 minute video]

The Pentagon says US and British ships fired more than 110 Tomahawk missiles at air defense targets in Libya. The coalition forces began to enforce a United Nations Security Council Resolution meant to protect the Libyan people from Moammar Gadhafi. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney briefs the press about the start of what the Pentagon is calling “Operation Odyssey Dawn”.

March 20/2011: around 2am in Tripoli

U.S. Air Strikes Over Tripoli . Libya March 19..2011

[from CNN: Unconfirmed but this was an apparent bombing run over a Tripoli airfield]

March 19/2011

Tomahawk missile launch from USS Barry towards Libya

[Unconfirmed but some copies of this video are stamped with CNN]

Click HERE to read more from William Belle

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