Predators Strike Targets in Libya

NATO has announced the first series of attacks by armed US Predator remotely piloted aircraft in Libya against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. Both occurred on April 23. In the first strike, a Predator, which carries two Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, destroyed a multiple rocket launcher near the city of Misurata that Qaddafi forces had used against civilians. In the second incident, a Predator took out an SA-8 surface-to-air missile in Tripoli. In this case, NATO officials noted that the Predator operators detected civilians near the missile and thus delayed their attack until the people had dispersed. These attacks came just two days after the Defense Department divulged that armed Predators had begun operating over Libya in support of the NATO-led mission to protect Libyan civilians. (NATO release on Misurata strike and NATO release on Tripoli attack)