Now that majority of the Libya capital Tripoli is now in the hands of the rebels, the United States has called on soon to be deposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi to accept defeat and tell his loyal forces to stop fighting and hand over the government to the r ebels and the Libyan people. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the call so that the US can finally release as much as $1.5 billion in frozen Gadhafi regime assets to give to the opposition. Panetta said he is confident the military operation in Libya conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will soon end.
“Hopefully that is a mission that is beginning to draw to a close,” Panetta said. “The opposition forces have obviously made significant gains, but the situation obviously remains very fluid,” Panetta added. Now that NATO is nearing the finish line of its mission, Panetta called on them to do their best to protect the civilians in Libya.
He said as long as the threat remains, NATO will continue to do its task of eliminating the forces of Gadhafi.
It was learned that NATO had been conducting routine strikes in Tripoli in recent weeks, particularly with precision guided missiles that can zero in on small targets. Moreover, the the U.S. hoped to soon give the opposition between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in frozen Gadhafi regime assets to help it meet immediate humanitarian needs. The money according to reports is half of the Gadhafi regime’s liquid assets that have been frozen in the United States. It was learned that most of the $37 billion in frozen assets in the U.S. is in real estate and other property holdings. The money — expected to be a first payment — will be released once the U.N. sanctions committee gives its approval, something the U.S. hopes will happen in the coming days.