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As the conflict in Libya continues , Nato enforcing a no-fly zone to actively attacking Libyan ground forces but more innocent civilians were killed.
Gaddafi and the Libyan government have failed to fulfill their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy. He has no future in a free, democratic Libya.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said military operations in crisis-hit Libya will enter a new phase as Britain and France have decided to send attack helicopters to join military operations in the North African country.
US President Barack Obama said Washington and Paris are determined to “finish the job” in Libya and Gaddafi will “inevitably” leave or be forced to quit power.
Libyan regime has expressed readiness to follow an African Union (AU) ceasefire plan. The African body has more than once called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Libya but Libyan revolutionaries have dismissed AU's initiative, saying they will not stop fighting until Gaddafi steps down.
Fearsome helicopter gunships, able to hunt and kill at close quarters at night and over battle-scarred cities, will significantly escalate the air war in Libya.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the campaign in Libya was entering a “new phase” and the deployment of helicopters was “part of the process of turning up the pressure” on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, we we're on the right side, we're doing the right thing, the pressure is telling.”
The dozen French Tigre and a similar number of British Apache attack helicopters – bristling with Hellfire missiles and nose-mounted cannon capable of destroying tanks and chasing gunmen down alleyways from above .
NATO commanders, including Canada’s Air Force Lieutenant-General Charlie Bouchard, who is running the air war, have been hobbled by the lack of combat warplanes capable of flying low and slow and attacking in the close confines of urban spaces.
Two months of daily bombing – albeit hardly a “shock and awe” campaign – has so far failed to topple Col. Gaddafi, and the military ineptness of the ill-equipped and ill-trained rebel forces have left the ground war in stalemate.
Helicopter gunships may help. The Tigres and Apaches, expected to fly from the British warship Ocean and the French carrier Tonnerre cruising off the Libyan coast, are designed to wage just that sort of warfare.
While the Tigres and Apaches may tip the military balance in favour of the rebels .
Libya’s old and ill-maintained air defences have largely been destroyed, allowing Canada’s CF-18 Hornets, British Typhoons and French Mirages to fly bombing missions in relative safety. But fast, high-flying combat jets are no use against urban snipers or mercenaries in Toyotas mounted with heavy machine guns in narrow city streets where a 250-kilogram laser-guided bomb, even if it hits the target, will destroy half the block and kill innocent civilians.
The attack helicopters can wage precise urban war but are vulnerable to shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles. Libya has hundreds of those small, portable missiles. But a loss over hostile area controlled by forces loyal to Col. Gaddafi could create political nightmares, especially if the crew were captured and held hostage.
With an intensified bombing campaign targeting the regime’s compounds and key locations in Tripoli, and the newly arrived helicopter gunships providing close air support to rebel fighters in contested cities.