US planes attack as US cuts back Libya mission -

US planes attack as US cuts back Libya mission

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. attack aircraft have completed their regular missions over Libya but won't be far away if NATO asks for help.
Air Force and Marine attack planes struck targets in Libya on Monday, the final day of planned U.S. combat missions in the North African nation.
Several officials, meanwhile, said they saw little indication that the Obama administration will decide to provide weapons to the rebels, who are greatly outgunned by Moammar Gadhafi's forces. Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued against it last week. The White House has said it has not ruled it in or out.
The U.S. now shifts to a support role, providing services like midair refueling and AWACS. But attack planes could fly if requested by NATO, which now takes the lead role over Libya. The Pentagon would have to approve such requests.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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