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Fox News: U.S. Drone Involved in Final Qaddafi Strike, as Obama Heralds Regime’s ‘End’

A U.S. Predator drone was involved in the airstrike on Muammar Qaddafi’s convoy Thursday in the moments before his death, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The official said the drone, along with a French fighter jet, fired on the “large convoy” leaving Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte. A French defense official earlier said about 80 vehicles were in the convoy — the official said the strike did not destroy the convoy but that fighters on the ground afterward intercepted the vehicle carrying Qaddafi. He was later killed, reportedly in the crossfire between Qaddafi supporters and opponents as he was being transferred.

President Obama and other officials would not elaborate on the circumstances of Qaddafi’s death. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said only that U.S. and NATO actions helped Libyans reach this point.

But as some lawmakers continued to criticize the administration for its handling of the Libya operation, Obama pointed to the end of the Qaddafi regime as the close of a “long and painful chapter” for Libyans and defended the multilateral mission which began in March.

“Today we can definitively say that the Qaddafi regime has come to an end,” Obama said. “This is a momentous day in the history of Libya.”

Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden, said of Libyans, “You have won your revolution.”

Obama said the NATO mission would soon be over; if so, the use of a Predator drone Thursday would mark a fitting end for U.S. involvement.

U.S. engagement in Libya consisted mostly of aerial missions. More than 70 U.S. aircraft were involved in the Libya operation — throughout, the U.S. conducted a total of 145 Predator strikes in the country, in addition to thousands of other aerial missions. The United States has stepped up the use of Predator drones in several other countries, including Pakistan and Yemen. A drone was credited with killing American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in September. ……Read More

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Posted by on Oct 21 2011. Filed under Current News, Post To Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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