Gadhafi Forces Quiet After Libya Strikes

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U.N. military leaders believe they've stopped dictator Moammar Gadhafi's ground assault near the eastern city of Benghazi, three days after an international no-fly zone was imposed over the country.

American, British, and French bombers have hit dozens of targets.

The attacks included some of the heaviest firepower in the U.S. arsenal, including long-range bombers that were designed for the Cold War.

"Air attacks have succeeded in stopping regime ground forces from advancing to Benghazi, and we are now seeing ground forces moving southward from Benghazi," Carter Ham, chief of U.S. Military Command in Libya, said.

"Through a variety of reports, we know that regime ground forces that were in the vicinity of Benghazi now possess little will or capability to resume offensive operations," he said.

As U.N. coalition members took off again to enforce the no-fly zone, Gadhafi's whereabouts were in question.

On Sunday, two British cruise missiles wiped out a building in his Tripoli compound, but the U.S. insisted the dictator was not a target.

Meanwhile near Benghazi, Libyan rebels celebrated as U.S. and NATO forces attacked a government convoy and destroyed Gadhafi's ammunition supply.

Rebels claimed Gadhafi was taking civilians from a rebel-held city to use as human shields in the fighting. While the dictator is still a danger, military officials believe they've neutralized his air force.

"We have not observed Libyan military aircraft operating since the beginning of coalition military operations," Ham added.

He also stressed that the American role in the Libyan air assault is already declining, and the majority of Monday's missions were flown by pilots from other countries in the coalition.

A Libyan spokesman called for a ceasefire Sunday, but the U.S. military pushed forward.

"I question anything out of [Libya] that Gadhafi calls for," Vice Adm. William Gortney said. "He called for a ceasefire and then told his troops to move into Benghazi."

Gadhafi has promised a long, drawn out war, but rebels in the country say they are ready.

"We die or we win. We have no other choice," one Libyan said. "We die or we win."

U.S. Uncertainty Remains

Despite Monday's success, American officials said it was too early to define the international military campaign's end game.

The assault has included B2 Stealth Bombers, jet fighters, more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles and other high-tech weapons. Officials said the air strikes have been "very effective."

The Pentagon said U.S. and allied fighters are now patrolling Libya air space. Yet, some analysts point out that Saddam Hussein survived 12 years of a no-fly zone in Iraq. Officials are not sure how long this no-fly zone will last.

"We now have the ability and capability to patrol the air space over Libya and we are doing just that, shifting to a more consistent and persistent air presence," Gortney said. "The no-fly zone is effectively in place."

"I wouldn't speculate in terms of length at this particular point in time," said U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen.

Republican lawmakers said the action may be too little, too late.

"I can't see exactly where the end game is, and I do think it is a troubling situation," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said. "We just hope for the best and maybe this will be successful."

There are also concerns that the Libyan leader could retaliate against the U.S.

"He's killed people in the U.K., France, and Lockerbie," said Jack Cloonan, former FBI special agent for the Bin Laden Unit.

"He has the revenge motive in his mind. He has a tribal instinct and he'll do it," he continued. "If he has a chance to take revenge against the United States, he'll do it. He's a vengeful, vindictive, and a proven killer."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. expects to relinquish control of the mission to coalition forces "in a matter of days."

Meanwhile, Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of al Qaeda's North Africa branch has urged Libyan rebels not to trust the U.S., even as it helps them fight Gadhafi's forces.

He said the U.S. has helped Gadhafi hold on to power in the past.

Al Qaeda has also called for the establishment of Islamic rule in Libya.

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