US: Some NATO allies in Libya exhausted in 90 days

By REUTERS
July 12, 2011 01:08

 
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BAGHDAD - New US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday that some NATO allies operating in Libya could see their forces "exhausted" within 90 days.

"The problem right now, frankly, in Libya is that ... within the next 90 days a lot of these other countries could be exhausted in terms of their capabilities, and so the United States, you know, is going to be looked at to help fill the gap," Panetta said, speaking to troops in Baghdad.

He did not say which countries he was referring to, or what the US response would be to calls for help.

NATO warplanes have been bombing Libya under a UN mandate to prevent civilians from Muammar Gaddafi's forces, but the alliance is under mounting strain because of the cost of the operation and the failure, after more than three months, to produce a decisive outcome.

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