NATO urged to expand Libya mission
The new Libyan government has officially asked NATO to extend its mission in Libya as new revelations surface about the overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime, Press TV reported.
Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil called on the military alliance on Wednesday to continue its Libya campaign until the end of 2011, citing potential threats from Gaddafi loyalists, AFP reported.
"We hope (NATO) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighboring countries," Abdel Jalil told the Conference of the Friends Committee in Support of Libya in Doha, Qatar.
The NTC chief said this would "ensure that no arms are infiltrated into those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of Gaddafi's forces who have fled to nearby countries," he added.
The NTC is also seeking help from NATO in "developing Libya's defense and security systems," Abdel Jalil told NTC's military allies.
NATO had set October 31 as the deadline of its military campaign in Libya.
The request comes despite the deaths of hundreds of Libyan civilians in NATO airstrikes, with the coalition's aerial attacks severely damaging Libya's infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Qatar has revealed that hundreds of its soldiers fought alongside the Libyan revolutionary fighters in the battle against Gaddafi regime forces.
A high-ranking Qatari military official has said soldiers from Qatar ran the training and communication operations in Libya.
Doha had previously said it had only lent support to NATO's bombing campaign against Tripoli.