NATO airstrike targets Libyan state-run TV

July 30th, 2011 - 5:17 pm ICT by BNO News  

TRIPOLI (BNO NEWS) — NATO aircraft on early Saturday morning carried out an airstrike against three ground-based Libyan state television satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli, officials said.

NATO spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie said the intent of the strike was to degrade Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s use of satellite television as a means to ‘intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them.’ ”

“Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them,” Lavoire said. “Gaddafi’s increasing practice of inflammatory broadcasts illustrates his regime’s policy to instill hatred among Libyans, to mobilize its supporters against civilians and to trigger bloodshed. In light of our mandate to protect civilian lives, we had to act.”

The spokesman said NATO was still in the process to assess the effects of the airstrike, but there were no immediate reports of civilian casualties. “Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while at the same time preserve television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict,” Lavoire added.

Libya has been engulfed in a civil war since an uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime began in mid-February, while Libyan forces have been accused of violently cracking down on anti-government protesters. It led to UN Security Council Resolution 1973 which authorized member states to impose a no-fly zone over the North African country and to take ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians.

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