- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the initial hours of the U.S.-led air and missile assault on the forces of Libya’s Col. Moammar Gadhafi have gone well, but “there is a great deal still to be done.”

“We (want) him to pull back his forces across the country, back into garrison, and stop attacking his people,” Adm. Mullen said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.

He said the initial goal of enforcing a no-fly zone was “effectively in place.”

The admiral’s comments came after a day of airstrikes by American, British and French forces after the United Nations on Thursday voted in support of military intervention in the strife-torn North African nation.

Adm. Mullen said that the operation is being led by the United States “right now,” but that the goal is for the American forces eventually to play a “supporting role” in the conflict.

The conflict between Col. Gadhafi and the pro-democracy uprising had turned particularly bloody and tense in recent days, with the Libyan strongman promising “no mercy” for members of the rebellion movement.

• David Eldridge can be reached at deldridge@washingtontimes.com.

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