Allied warplanes pound Qaddafi ground units
Top story: The United States stepped up its air campaign against Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's ground forces on Wednesday, targeting units near two fiercely contested cities. Allied warplanes struck Qaddafi's forces in the western city of Misurata, forcing them to pull back during the day, though they returned at night to bombard the city with artillery. The United States and its allies also hit the Libyan government's ground units in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, which the rebel forces have been trying to capture.
Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, the U.S. chief of staff for the military command of the operation, told reporters that allied forces were attempting to cut off Qaddafi's forces before they entered Libya's cities. He added that airstrikes would continue as long as Qaddafi's forces were present in cities that the international coalition had told them to abandon.
Hueber initially said that the coalition was in contact with the Libyan rebels, but, when pressed on the degree of military coordination with rebel forces, he said that he had misspoken. The has previously stated that there have not been "official communications" with the rebels.
In Washington, President Barack Obama faced new criticism of his handling of the White House on Wednesday asking a series of questions about the war, including its cost, when the United States would be able to hand over leadership of the conflict to its allies, and whether the president would consider it an acceptable outcome if Qaddafi remained in power when the intervention concluded.crisis. House Speaker sent a letter to the
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