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Artillery Fire Reported In Libya

GUY RAZ, Host:



RAZ: Tom, you just returned from a briefing at the Defense Department. Lay this out for us. What did you find out?

TOM BOWMAN: But he didn't know if there's any advancement of any of Gadhafi's forces in other areas of the country. He said, I don't have that intelligence at this time on that, any troop movements.

RAZ: So right now, U.S., British and French planes are not meeting any resistance at all?

BOWMAN: Well, there's some resistance. And as our reporters on the ground in Tripoli have recorded, there's some anti-aircraft artillery fire. Admiral Gortney was asked about that. He said basically, we're just avoiding the AAA strikes right now, and we're going after the more serious air defenses, surface-to-air missiles that are a real threat to the pilots. They're just avoiding some of that anti-aircraft artillery.

RAZ: Tom, what about Gadhafi? Is he a target?

BOWMAN: Well, I asked Admiral Gortney that, and he said Gadhafi is not a target. He said, we are not going after Gadhafi. He said, what we're doing is setting up a no-fly zone, as the U.N. asked us to do. We're also preventing any Libyan troop movements toward the rebel-held city of Benghazi. But he said Gadhafi is not a target.

RAZ: Briefly, Tom, in the last 30 seconds, what is the timeframe here? How long is this expected to last?

BOWMAN: Well, he said at least several more days for taking out the radar and air defenses. He didn't know exactly how much longer it would take. The U.S. is still in charge of this. There's an - Admiral Sam Locklear is the admiral out in the Mount Whitney, his command ship, and he said they hope to transfer from U.S. authority in the coming days. But he had no real timeframe.

RAZ: Tom, thanks.

BOWMAN: You're welcome, Guy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.
Guy Raz is the host, co-creator, and editorial director of three NPR programs, including two of its most popular ones: TED Radio Hour and How I Built This.Both shows are heard by more than 14 million people each month around the world. He is also the creator and co-host of NPR's first-ever podcast for kids, Wow In The World.