VOA News March 21, 2011
Western forces launched a second round of missile strikes on forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi Sunday in an effort to drive back their offensive against rebel-held cities.
The U.S. military says the bombardment of Tomahawk cruise missiles and air strikes has significantly degraded Gadhafi's air defenses.
The U.S. has been carrying out the attacks with Britain, France and other allies to enforce a U.N.-authorized no-fly zone. The no-fly zone is aimed at protecting Libyan civilians from attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces trying to crush a month-long uprising against his 42-year rule.
U.S. officials say the Libyan leader himself is not a target, although an administrative building in Gadhafi's residential compound in the capital, Tripoli, was reported damaged in a missile attack late Sunday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Washington expects to turn control of the mission in Libya over to a coalition - probably headed by the French and British or NATO - within days.
Gates said the U.S. will be a member of the coalition, but will not have "the preeminent role." He made the comments to reporters traveling with him to Russia, which is opposed to the international military strikes.
U.S. President Barack Obama will take questions from reporters Monday for the first time since the allied assault began, during a joint press conference in Chile.
Gadhafi has denounced the international military action as colonial crusader aggression and vowed to defeat foreign forces. He said his government has opened arms depots to Libyans to enable them to fight.
Heavy anti-aircraft fire erupted in Tripoli Sunday night.
In addition to targeting anti-aircraft sites, allied warplanes also targeted Libyan ground forces, destroying dozens of tanks near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
Libyan state television said the airstrikes and missiles have killed at least 64 people, including children, and wounded about 150. But the top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he has seen no evidence of civilian casualties from the operation.
The U.S. military said Sunday that Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Qatar have joined the coalition against Gadhafi. Qatar is the first Arab nation to do so.
Obama called King Abdullah of Jordan to emphasize the importance of a broad international effort in the Libyan campaign.
The air and missile strikes represent the biggest international military operation in the Middle East since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
The U.N. Security Council passed the resolution Thursday authorizing the no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.
missile (n) 飛彈；導彈
strikes (n) 軍事進攻；襲擊；（尤指）空襲
bombardment (n) 砲擊;轟炸
degrade (v) 降低，削弱
據報導，西方盟軍(Western forces)已經展開了第二波的導彈空襲(a second round of missile strikes)，目的是減弱格達費(Gadhafi)攻擊對於利比亞內已被反抗軍所掌控的城市(rebel-held cities)。美軍指出，戰斧巡弋飛彈(Tomahawk cruise missles)與空襲已經大大的削弱格達費的防空武力(degraded Gadhafi’s air defenses)。
ally (n) (尤指戰時的）同盟國
no-fly zone (n) 禁航區
be aimed at (v phr) 目的是；旨在
crush (v) 破壞，毀壞
uprising (n) 起義；暴動
在聯合國會議通過(UN-authorized)後，英美各國對利比亞設置禁航區(no-fly zone)，掌握利比亞上的航空權，目的是保護平民(civilians)免於受到格達費為了強力平定(crush)持續了一個月的暴動 (uprising)所使用的武力。
compound (v) (有圍牆隔離)的場地
coalition (n) 聯合；結合；聯盟
preeminent (a) 卓越的;顯著的
美官方表示，格達費並非聯軍空襲的目標，但格達費所在地的行政大樓(an administrative building in Gadhafi’s residential compound)在上週空襲行動中據報也遭受飛彈攻擊。美國防部長(U.S. Defense Secretary)表示，希望這波在利比亞的軍事活動主導權可在近日內轉移給以英、法或北約為首的同盟(to turn control of the mission in Lybia over to a coalition)。美國仍會列在同盟之中，但不會扮演凸顯的領導角色(preeminent role)。
assault (n) 攻擊；突擊；襲擊
depot (n) 貯藏處，倉庫*要注意這個字的發音
stronghold (n) 要塞；據點
casualty (n) 死者;傷者
campaign (n) 戰役
resolution (n) 決議；正式決定
格達費將此國際軍事活動稱為殖民主義的十字軍東征，並宣稱已經開放軍火房，讓利比亞人民有作戰的能力。除了攻擊防空要塞之外(anti-aircraft sites)，聯盟的戰機也針對利比亞的地面軍隊攻擊(ground forces)，摧毀了抗軍要塞(rebel stronghold) Benghazi週圍的數十輛坦克。利比亞的國有電視(state television)指稱在空襲與導彈活動中，至少有六十四死亡，但美最高軍方人員表示並沒有證據顯示有平民在這波軍事活動中死傷(no evidence of civilian casualties from the operation)。
Let's Give it a Try!
Fill in the blanks with one of the vocabulary words from the list. After you finish, select the area between the arrows to get the hidden answers.
1. They captured the last __________ of the presidential guard.
2. They launched an __________on the capital yesterday.
3. By forming a __________, the rebels and the opposition parties defeated the government.
4. The United Nations has authorized the use of air __________.
5. The government's campaign is __________ at influencing public opinion.
6. The president called upon the army to help __________ the rebellion.
- - > 1. stronghold 2. assault 3. coalition 4. strikes 5. aimed 6. crush < - -