Don't miss




North-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri attacked by child bombers

Read more


Putin's New Front: Airstrikes in Syria catch West off guard [part 1]

Read more


Video: Farmers living in fear in South Africa

Read more


Sharing economy: A new French revolution

Read more

#TECH 24

Taking a closer look at technology in the classroom

Read more


Growing concerns over China's industrial safety shortcomings

Read more

#THE 51%

Does the Middle East need a sexual revolution?

Read more


South Africa: Anti-corruption protesters take to the streets

Read more


Searching for answers to the Holocaust with Martin Amis

Read more


US claims early success in Libyan offensive

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-03-20

France, the United States and Britain used cruise missiles fired from warships in the Mediterranean to target Libyan air defences into early Sunday morning following the launch of military action on Saturday to enforce a UN no-fly zone.

  • Coalition strikes have succeeded in halting the advance of Gaddafi's troops on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and a no-fly zone is now in place over Libya with government air defences "taken out" and no sign of Libyan aircraft in flight, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, told NBC. The initial part of Operation "Odyssey Dawn" has been successful, he added.
  • The US, Britain and France pounded Libya with Tomahawk missiles and air strikes into the early hours of Sunday, sparking fury from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who declared the Mediterranean to be a "battlefield".
  • French planes fired the first shots on Saturday to force Gaddafi's troops to cease fire and end attacks on civilians. The warplanes destroyed tanks and armoured vehicles in the region of the rebels' eastern stronghold, Benghazi. American warships and a British submarine fired at least 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya, the US military said.
  • According to Libyan state television, at least 48 people have been killed and 150 wounded in the allied air strikes. It also reported a fresh wave of strikes on Tripoli early on Sunday.
  • Operation "Odyssey Dawn"  is the biggest Western intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It comes two days after a UN Security Council resolution with Arab backing authorised military intervention to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya aimed at preventing Gaddafi's forces from crushing a popular uprising against his 41-year autocratic rule.


Scroll down for the day's events on our blog:

Click on the link to follow our live coverage on your smartphone:

Date created : 2011-03-20


    Libyan air defences targeted to enforce UN no-fly zone

    Read more


    Coalition launches military action against Libya

    Read more


    Air strikes target rebel-held Benghazi, media reports say

    Read more