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WASHINGTON — The air power of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been defanged by a U.S.-led attack, but he remains in defiance of the United Nations’ demand to stop attacking civilians on the ground, one of the U.S. officers overseeing the operation said Tuesday.

“Despite our successes to date, Gadhafi and his forces are not yet in compliance with the United Nations Security Council resolution due to the continued aggressive action his forces are taking against the civilian population of Libya,” said Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa.

Reports from the city of Misratah indicate Gadhafi loyalist forces are attacking civilians there, Locklear said. U.N. Resolution 1937 authorizes only airstrikes to protect them, Locklear said, but he would not specifically say whether such strikes were taking place within the city.

“There have been tactical airstrike operations throughout the coastal areas on military targets throughout Libya,” he said.

The coalition will continue attacking until Gadhafi's forces pull back from the cities of Zawiyah, Ajdabija, and Misratah, as required by President Barack Obama in a March 18 speech.

“They have not done that,” he said. “We have forced them out of Benghazi, but in the other three places they have not complied with directions from our president.”

carrollc@stripes.osd.mil

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