Washington, Apr 22 : US President Barack Obama has approved the use of unmanned Predator drones to attack the ground forces of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
This has earlier proved effective in Iraq and against the Taliban along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
Although America’s first drone attack on Gaddafi’s forces was cancelled last night because of bad weather, U. S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that Obama has now given green signal to military chiefs to go ahead with the attacks, the Daily Mail reports.
Obama has maintained all these while that the coalition campaign against Libya was not necessarily meant to target Gaddafi, but reports suggest that the drones could be used to attack the Libyan leader or his sons.
Gates and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman General James Cartwright had announced the move at a Pentagon press conference.
“It is a more politically acceptable escalation that allows an arm’s length show of force,” the paper quoted a senior Pentagon official, as saying.
Gates said that the move itself testifies that Obama is ready to contribute in putting up a tough fight against Gaddafi.
The Predator is armed with two Hellfire missiles, has a range of 3,200 kilometre and can operate in the air for as long as 24 hours. (ANI)