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We're winning Libyan war, says Obama

Eight days into the Libyan war, President Barack Obama says the US-led military campaign is succeeding.

Libya's air defences have been "taken out" and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have been pushed back from cities where the people have risen up against him, Obama said today. A humanitarian catastrophe has also been avoided, he added.

"We're succeeding in our mission," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.



Complaints

His remarks served as a warm-up for a planned speech to Americans on Monday explaining his decision-making.

Both addresses follow complaints from lawmakers of both parties that the president hasn't sought their input or hasn't clearly explained US participation in the mission.

Obama argued today that the mission in Libya is clear and focused, with the US and its allies and partners working together to enforce a UN Security Council mandate to protect the Libyan people from forces loyal to Gadhafi.

US-led forces began launching missile strikes against Gaddafi's defences on March 19 to keep him from acting on threats to attack his people.

On Monday, Obama is expected to emphasise a larger role for NATO and a reduced one for the US military.

NATO has announced that it will take over enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. NATO is ironing out details for the military alliance to assume control of the broader military mission, the White House said.

hnews@herald.ie