Nato to assume command from US – but transfer of authority from US-led force could take several days
guardian.co.uk, Associated Press and Reuters, Sunday 27 March 2011
|Nato will have full control of military operations, officials said.|
Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Ambassadors have approved a plan to expand the previously-agreed mission to enforce the UN arms embargo and no-fly zone by agreeing to protect civilians from attacks by Gaddafi's ground forces, a Nato diplomat said.
|NATO HQ Brussels, Belgium|
The diplomat – who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media – said the transfer of authority from the US-led force may take a several days.
After eight days of strikes on Libyan targets, Washington is eager to give responsibility for air strikes to Nato.
A Nato diplomat said the decision meant Nato now had full control of all aspects of the operation, ending nearly a week of heated negotiations over the chain of command.
"Everything will now be under Nato," the diplomat said.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
says the decision is a 'significant step'