This Saturday, March 19, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) as it launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn from the Mediterranean Sea . The U.S. fired more than 100 cruise missiles from the sea while French fighter jets targeted Moammar Gadhafi's forces from the air on Saturday, launching the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising that had seemed on the verge of defeat. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Fireman Roderick Eubanks)
Live coverage as Operation Odyessey Dawn continues with strikes against Muammar Gaddafi‘s forces in Libya.
WASHINGTON — U.S. and British ships and submarines launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses Saturday and a senior American defense official said it was believed substantial damage was inflicted.
In the strikes, 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya’s air force.
While U.S. defense officials cautioned that it was too early to fully gauge the impact of the onslaught, the official said that given the precision targeting of the Navy’s cruise missiles, they felt that Libya’s air defenses suffered a good deal of damage.
Explosions continued to rock the coastal cities, including Tripoli. Navy Vice Adm. Wiliam E. Gortney, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, would not discuss future operations But defense officials said military action was likely to continue.
Burnt out tanks and cars belonging to forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi today littered the road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah.
The RAF proclaimed the start of hostilities a success just hours after British and American warships unleashed cruise missiles against Libya as the world finally lost patience with the dictator.
Tornado jets, submarines and stealth bombers fired 112 Tomahawk missiles and dropped explosives on 20 coastal locations as Gaddafi’s men tried to take control of rebel-held Benghazi.
Stormshadow missiles were launched from GR4 fast jets which had flown 3,000 miles from RAF Marham in Norfolk and back – the longest range bombing since the Falklands.
David Cameron today pronounced the action was ‘legal and right’.