NATO deploys attack helicopters in Libya
NATO on Saturday stepped up the pressure on the Libyan regime of Moamer Gaddafi by deploying attack helicopters for the first time, DPA reported.
In a statement, the military alliance said targets struck overnight included military vehicles, military equipment and fielded forces.
"This successful engagement demonstrates the unique capabilities brought to bear by attack helicopters," said Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO's Operation Unified Protector.
"We will continue to use these assets whenever and wherever needed, using the same precision as we do in all of our missions."
Last month, Britain and France agreed to deploy Apache and Gazelle helicopters in a bid to improve NATO's efforts to enforce a United Nations resolution designed to prevent Gaddafi from killing civilians opposed to his regime.
Attack helicopters allow NATO more flexibility in its operations, as well as more precision strikes against Gaddafi's forces. But by flying close to the ground, they also expose the alliance to counter-attacks.
The development came as lawmakers in the United States urged President Barack Obama to clarify the country's role in Libya.