McCain said that he is dissatisfied with the United States’ “back seat” role in the military operation in Libya and that NATO allies don’t have ample resources for the fight. He wants the United States to send its air assets into Libya, but he remains opposed to sending ground troops, he added.
The United States has to “understand that right now, unless somehow Gadhafi falls from within, that we may have a stalemated situation, and that would be very bad,” McCain said. “It’s events on the ground that will drive Gadhafi’s desire to leave or not to leave. Right now, in many respects, he’s not doing too badly for a third-rate military power.”
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Gadhafi and his wife were inside the house targeted by NATO, but they escaped. However, Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29, and three grandchildren under the age of 12 were killed, he added, according to the Washington Post.
NATO acknowledged that it struck a “command and control building” in Tripoli late Saturday but did not confirm the deaths of Gadhafi’s relatives.
“All NATO’s targets are military in nature and have been clearly linked to the Qadhafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan population and populated areas. We do not target individuals,” Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO operation, said in a statement.
“I am aware of unconfirmed media reports that some of Qadhafi’s family members may have been killed,” he added. “We regret all loss of life, especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of the ongoing conflict. NATO is fulfilling its UN mandate to stop and prevent attacks against civilians with precision and care — unlike Qadhafi’s forces, which are causing so much suffering.”