|© AFP Filippo Monteforte|
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Pentagon believes Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi has not fled the country, a military spokesman said Monday, as rebel forces swept into the Libyan capital.
It’s “probably fair to stay that we believe he’s still in the country,” spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.
“We do not have information that he’s left the country.”
The US military continued to provide support for the NATO-led air campaign over Libya while the situation in Tripoli was “fluid” after rebels overran regime forces, Lapan said.
Kadhafi has not been seen in public for weeks amid speculation the veteran leader was hiding in his compound in Tripoli.
With a possible post-Kadhafi international peacekeeping mission on the horizon, Lapan ruled out the deployment of any US ground troops as part of a UN or NATO ground force.
“There will not be US boots on the ground,” he said.
“If there’s going to be some type of transitional mission, that remains to be seen, whether it comes out of the UN or NATO.
“But we still do not plan any US forces going on the ground in Libya.”
The United States has contributed aircraft mainly for refueling and surveillance flights for the NATO campaign, launched in March, as well as armed Predator drones.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was on vacation in California, had been briefed on events in Tripoli and participated in a teleconference call with President Barack Obama and his advisors Sunday evening, press secretary George Little told reporters.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license