U.S. Military Aircraft to Aid Egyptians Leaving Libya

U.S. President Barack Obama announced today he has approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border get back home to Egypt, March 3, 2011. <br /> <br />Speaking from the White House, Obama said the



By Karen Parrish American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, D.C. Mar 04, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama announced today he has approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border get back home to Egypt, March 3, 2011.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said the United States and the world continue "to be outraged by the appalling violence against the Libyan people."

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered U.S. Africa Command to take the lead for defense planning regarding the situation in Libya, according to a Pentagon statement. The DOD will continue to work in close coordination with the State Department and other agencies as needed.

Since February 17, Libyan citizens have protested against Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969. Qadhafi's forces have since engaged in increasingly violent clashes with protesters throughout the country, while Libya's military forces are divided between the two sides. An estimated 180,000 people have fled Libya, many gathering along the border with Tunisia.

"The United States is helping to lead an international effort to deter further violence, put in place unprecedented sanctions to hold the Qadhafi government accountable, and support the aspirations of the Libyan people," Obama said.

The United States also is responding to the urgent humanitarian needs that are developing, he said.

"Tens of thousands of people, from many different countries, are fleeing Libya," the president said. "We commend the governments of Tunisia and Egypt for their response, even as they go through their own political transitions."

The president also has authorized the U.S. Agency for International Development to charter additional civilian aircraft to help people fleeing Libya return to their homes.

"We're supporting the efforts of international organizations to evacuate people as well," the president said. "I've also directed USAID to send humanitarian assistance teams to the Libyan border, so that they can work with the United Nations, [non-governmental organizations] and other international partners inside Libya to address the urgent needs of the Libyan people."

The United States will continue to send a clear message that the violence in Libya must stop, and Qadhafi must go, the president said.

Libya's ruler "has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave," Obama said. "Those who perpetrate violence against the Libyan people will be held accountable. And the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy and dignity must be met."

More in Media Room
Exercise Phoenix Express 2022 set to begin in Tunisia
The exercise focuses on regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts that promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.
Read more
Gen. Townsend visits East Africa and Angola to advance mutual security interests
The trip provided U.S. Africa Command leaders the opportunity to meet with civilian and military leaders in each nation to underscore the importance of partnership to confronting regional threats and achieving shared security goals.
Read more
Malawi Defense Force JAG visits Boone Center, Guard Staff Judge Advocates
Soldiers with the Kentucky National Guard's legal team hosted Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali of the Malawi Defense Force, for a 2-day visit that included a tour of Kentucky's Capital building and presentations to Guardsmen Apr. 21-22.
Read more
More in Media Room
Exercise Phoenix Express 2022 set to begin in Tunisia
The exercise focuses on regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts that promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.
Read more
Gen. Townsend visits East Africa and Angola to advance mutual security interests
The trip provided U.S. Africa Command leaders the opportunity to meet with civilian and military leaders in each nation to underscore the importance of partnership to confronting regional threats and achieving shared security goals.
Read more
Malawi Defense Force JAG visits Boone Center, Guard Staff Judge Advocates
Soldiers with the Kentucky National Guard's legal team hosted Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali of the Malawi Defense Force, for a 2-day visit that included a tour of Kentucky's Capital building and presentations to Guardsmen Apr. 21-22.
Read more
More in Media Room
Exercise Phoenix Express 2022 set to begin in Tunisia
The exercise focuses on regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts that promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.
Read more
Gen. Townsend visits East Africa and Angola to advance mutual security interests
The trip provided U.S. Africa Command leaders the opportunity to meet with civilian and military leaders in each nation to underscore the importance of partnership to confronting regional threats and achieving shared security goals.
Read more
Malawi Defense Force JAG visits Boone Center, Guard Staff Judge Advocates
Soldiers with the Kentucky National Guard's legal team hosted Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali of the Malawi Defense Force, for a 2-day visit that included a tour of Kentucky's Capital building and presentations to Guardsmen Apr. 21-22.
Read more