NATO says it will continue Libya operations - KMOV.com

NATO says it will continue Libya operations

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President Barack Obama speaks about Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, in Chilmark, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard, Mass.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) By Carolyn Kaster President Barack Obama speaks about Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, in Chilmark, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) By Carolyn Kaster

BRUSSELS (AP) -- NATO said Tuesday the situation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli remains very dangerous and the alliance will continue its operations over the country, bombing forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi if they keep fighting.

But spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie told reporters Tuesday that pro-Gadhafi forces are severely degraded and losing strength through desertions and defections.

He spoke at a news conference in Naples, Italy, also taking questions from reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels by video link.

In Brussels, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said NATO might play a role in Libya in the post-Gadhafi period.

"NATO is willing to help in a supporting role if needed and if requested," Lungescu said.

Earlier, France's foreign minister had said he hoped NATO's air operation over Libya would end "as soon as possible" -- once rebel fighters topple Gadhafi and his forces for good. Alain Juppe said France and Britain were responsible for about 75 to 80 percent of NATO air operations over Libya in recent months.

Turkey's foreign minister said air operations would continue until security in the country is fully restored.

Rebels and pro-regime troops were fighting street battles in several parts of Tripoli, a day after opposition fighters swept into the capital with relative ease, claiming to have most of it under their control

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