U.S. sends CIA agents into Libya to analyze rebel forces
White House was assessing 'all types of assistance'
The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. As the CIA has sent small teams of operatives into Libya, the White House says it will be assessing \"all types of assistance\" for rebels battling Moammar Gaddafi\'s troops.
Officials say that President Obama has issued a secret finding to authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The information has become ever more important as the administration and its coalition partners move closer to providing direct military aid or guidance to the poorly equipped rebel army.
The Obama administration has officially pledged that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Libya. Meanwhile, officials say that President Obama has issued a secret finding to authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups.
In the face of a new offensive by government troops, rebel forces fled eastward from cities and towns they had captured just days ago. Libyan dictator Gaddafi suffered a political defeat with the defection to Britain of his foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, the most senior official to break ranks since the coalition bombing campaign began two weeks ago.
House and Senate lawmakers say they have received a picture of mixed progress on the ground in Libya. The headlong rebel retreat through the oil hubs of Ras Lanuf and Brega, en route to the strategic city of Ajdabiya, demonstrated the limits of their fighting ability against the superior firepower and military organization of Gaddafi loyalists. It also underscored how dependent the anti-Gaddafi forces have become on airstrikes and missile attacks by the Western-led coalition.
"Our volunteer forces in the front have only got light weapons and are facing a very large military might," rebel spokesman, Col. Ahmad Bani said. The largely untrained and poorly organized force lacks anti-tank and other heavy weapons.
Bani called on NATO forces to intervene more forcefully. Administration officials said U.S. participation in the strikes would subside rapidly once NATO formally takes overall command of all aspects of the operation.
Officials said they saw Libyan government gains during the day as temporary and part of the "fluid" back and forth of the ground combat - but didn't dispute the likelihood that the rebels will need more equipment and training to prevail, increasing the pressure to find out more about the opposition.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Libya, CIA, opposition, intervention
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