BENGHAZI, Libya (NBC) — The United States launched its first missile attack on Libyan air defenses on Saturday, NBC News confirmed, as America and its allies began military action to enforce a no-fly zone.
A senior U.S. military official said the missile strikes were aimed at sites along the Libyan coast. The missiles were launched from U.S. Navy vessels in the Mediterranean.
The official said the assault would unfold in stages and strike at air defense installations around the capital, Tripoli, and a coastal area south of Benghazi. That’s the rebel stronghold under attack by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
Earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said allied air forces had gone into action on over Libya and were preventing Moammar Gadhafi’s forces from attacking the rebel city of Benghazi.
A French official said a French fighter jet had fired on a Libyan military vehicle, in the first reported strike in the international campaign to enforce a no-fly zone. Overall, at least four Libyan tanks were destroyed in French attack, Al Jazeera reported.