BRUSSELS: NATO said Saturday its warplanes attacked targets in the Kadhafi stronghold Sirte in support of fighters backing Libya's new rulers, slamming “brutal acts” by followers of the ousted regime.
“In the last twenty-four hours, NATO aircraft, as part of Operation Unified Protector struck a series of targets Kadhafi forces used in order to threaten the civilian population of Sirte,” an alliance statement said.
“Among the targets were: an ammunition storage facility, an anti aircraft gun, a command and control node, and two armed vehicles.”
NATO said that, “In recent days some open-source and intelligence and dozens of eyewitness accounts in Sirte have described worsening conditions precipitated by Kadhafi forces.
“The brutal nature of their acts, signify a defunct regime in its final days.”
Fighters for Libya's interim rulers entered Moamer Kadhafi's hometown in a “surprise” NATO-backed assault that one commander said would lead to the city's fall on Saturday.
“Among the reports emerging from Sirte are executions, hostage-taking, and the calculated targeting of individuals, families, and communities within the city,” NATO said.
“Hundreds of families are being prevented from their desired evacuation by the absence of safety and fuel.
“Other resources required for survival including water, medicine, and food are in short supply or denied to civilians.”
NATO said that mercenaries were roaming the streets and civilians lacking access to outside information.
“These conditions have persisted for days while Kadhafi forces maintain control likely resulting in a severe situation.”
NATO Operation Unified Protector is to shield civilians and civilian-populated areas under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973. AGENCIES