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June 10th, 2011
08:09 AM ET

NATO official responds to report that Gadhafi 'a legitimate target'

(CNN) - A U.N. resolution justifies the targeting of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a senior NATO military official with operational knowledge of the Libya mission told CNN Thursday.

The resolution applies to Gadhafi because, as head of the military, he is part of the control and command structure and therefore a legitimate target, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to talk to the media.
Asked by CNN whether Gadhafi was being targeted, the NATO official declined to give a direct answer.

But NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu disputed the claim, saying the alliance was not specifically targeting Gadhafi.

"We are targeting critical military capabilities that could be used to attack civilians, including command and control centers that could be used to plan and organize such attacks," Lungescu said.

"We are simply not targeting individuals," she said, but noted on CNN's American Morning that those military capabilities are the "nerve center of Gadhafi's kill chain. The war machine that has been consistently attacking, relentlessly attacking and systematically attacking civilians in Libya."

Watch the rest of the interview here.

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Filed under: Libya • Moammar Gadhafi • NATO
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