Use of attack helicopters represents significant tactical shift by imperial forces in the Libyan Civil War.
June 4, 2011 — New York
by Rawlinsview with press agencies.
The decision on the part of NATO commanders to use attack helicopters in order to both aid and direct the activities of anti-government fighters in the Libyan Civil War signifies a shift toward greater intensification and direct involvement in the course of the war. The use of the relatively low flying and short range aircraft will require much tighter military coordination between the imperial forces and their allies on the ground. Use of the aircraft will also place increased numbers of NATO pilots and operating crews at much greater risk than the bombing and fighter-jet based operation that has been in place thus far. As dependence on western firepower increases the anti-government forces are finding themselves increasingly forced to take their cues from NATO higher-ups
As the Washington Post reported on June 2,
The episode highlights an inescapable dilemma facing the rebel military. After more than three months of stalemate, the rebels’ quest to remove Gaddafi from power depends almost entirely on a NATO force that they do not control. See Libyan rebels in a fight they don’t control
Bloomberg Media quoted anti-government commander and spokesman Ibrahim Betalmal, saying Rebel fighters are now coordinating with NATO and have been told not to advance beyond certain points “No doubt NATO will help a great deal in clearing the way forward for us,” See Libyan Rebels in Misrata Await NATO’s Use of Attack Helicopters
A French Navy Puma helicopter is seen hovering over the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediteranean sea. NATO announced Saturday it had for the first time used attack helicopters in Libya, striking military vehicles, military equipment and forces backing embattled leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi.
4 June 2011
AFP – NATO announced Saturday it had for the first time used attack helicopters in Libya, striking military vehicles, military equipment and forces backing embattled leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi.”Attack helicopters under NATO command were used for the first time on 4 June 2011 in military operations over Libya as part of Operation Unified Protector,” the Atlantic Alliance said in a statement.
“The targets struck included military vehicles, military equipment and fielded forces,” said the statement, without detailing exactly where the strikes had taken place.
“The use of attack helicopters provides the NATO operation with additional flexibility to track and engage pro-Kadhafi forces who deliberately target civilians and attempt to hide in populated areas,” the statement went on.
NATO forces “are constantly reviewing their operations and use of available assets, including attack helicopters, to best maintain the momentum and increase the pressure on pro-Kadhafi forces.”
The statement recalled that NATO’s operation was being conducted under UN Security Resolution 1973, “which calls for an immediate end to all attacks against civilians and authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya.”