U.S. Starts Sending Drones to Libya

The United States has begun deploying unmanned aircraft to Libya even as Muammar Gaddafi’s forces continued their assault of the rebel-stronghold of Misrata.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a news conference in Washington that President Barack Obama has approved the deployment of the Predator armed drones. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright said two drones made their way to Libya on Thursday but were recalled due to bad weather. Libyan rebels said the drones can help protect civilians. “There’s no doubt that will help protect civilians and we welcome that step from the American administration,” rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told Al Jazeera.

The deployment of the U.S. drones comes as rebels in Misrata are complaining of the lack of support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). “NATO has been inefficient in Misrata. NATO has completely failed to change things on the ground,” another rebel spokesman was quoted as saying.