Despite Promised ‘Support Role,’ US Still Bombing Libya

Pentagon Insists End to Strikes Didn't Apply to Attacks on Gadhafi Forces

US officials were keen on making a big deal of their transitioning into a “supporting role” in the Libya War as of April 4, after which point US air strikes were supposed to stop. Many assumed this actually happened, particularly with French and British officials complaining that they were forced to do virtually all the work in the ongoing war this week. In reality, it didn’t.

Rather, the US has been continuing to bomb Libya regularly to this day, and is planning to do so going forward. The Pentagon revealed US warplanes have flown 97 sorties against Libya since April 4, and attacked at least three targets.

The Pentagon defended the flat out lie that they were going to stop bombing Libya, however, insisting that the attacks were “defensive missions” for the ongoing war. They likewise insisted that attacks on certain Gadhafi forces related to air defense “didn’t apply” when they promised to stop their attacks.

The US and France launched their first attacks on Libya on March 19. Within the next 48 hours officials were already describing the war as a stalemate and saying there was likely to be no formal “victory” in the conflict. Officials still have not defined the goals on the conflict, and defended the attacks in only the vaguest of terms.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.