NATO officially ended its seven-month military intervention in Libya today, which helped take down Muammer Gaddafi.
The NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in Libya to declare the end of the seven-month aerial bombing campaign, CNN reports.
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"It's great to be in Libya, free Libya," Rasmussen said, Reuters reports. "We acted to protect you. Together we succeeded. Libya is finally free, from Benghazi to Brega, from Misrata to the Western Mountains and to Tripoli."
Rasmussen noted that he was proud of the part NATO played in taking down Gaddafi, with planes and ships turning firepower on his forces, Reuters reports. During NATO’s seven months in Libya, allied air forces carried out 9,600 strike sorties, destroying about 5,900 military targets, CBS News reports. Air strikes ended after Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20, but NATO maintained regular air patrols in Libya, CBS reports.
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The NATO enforced no-fly zone and naval blockade in Libya, which has been in place since March 31, will end today at 11:59 p.m. Libyan time, the Associated Press reports. Rasmussen said he would hold talks in Tripoli with NTC leaders, “about their expectations as regards Libya's future and in particular their roadmap for transition to democracy,” AP reports.
Rasmussen’s announcement comes a week after National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil asked NATO to continue their stay in Libya until the end of the year. Jalil fears Gaddafi loyalists could still pose a threat for the country.
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