The administrative building on the territory of Muammar Gaddafi's residence, which served as the command center of the Libyan leader, has been destroyed as a result of airstrikes conducted by the air force of the international coalition.
A pillar of smoke can be seen rising from the location of the three-storeyed building. The front of the building has collapsed, news agencies report. There is no information about the victims yet. A group of Gaddafi's followers has gathered near the building. The whereabouts of Gaddafi himself remained unknown.
An official representing the coalition forces said at a briefing at the Pentagon that Gaddafi was not the target of the military operation against Libya.
"We are not going after Gadhafi. Regime forces are more pressed and less free to maneuver," U.S. Vice Adm. Bill Gortney stated.
Asked about reports of smoke rising from the area of Gadhafi's palace, Gortney said, "We are not targeting his residence."
Military experts say that the armed forces of Libya are a sad spectacle at the moment. However, Libya is still capable of showing serious resistance. The predominance of the international coalition in the air is obvious, but Gaddafi's ground troops are really capable of doing a lot too.
The coalition is using three B-2 bombers against Libya. The total number of fighter jets is 30, most of them are F-16 jets. The coalition is also using F-18, Rafale and Typhoon fighters. In addition, there are Tornado bomber fighter jets, Mirage 2000, helicopters and drones.
The Libyan Air Force has 23 MiG-21MF and 130 MiG-23 fighter jets. The country supposedly has several Mirage fighters, 10 Yugoslavian striker jets and drones, 20 Su-22 bomber fighters, 42 training jets, up to 80 cargo jets and up to 30 helicopters.
Libya's air defense has three anti-aircraft brigades and five anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile regiments. The country has S-200 and S-75 complexes. Gaddafi's army has 250 anti-aircraft self-propelled Shilka systems and 90 S-60 anti-aircraft guns. These weapons can not cause significant damage to modern planes and cruise missiles.
If Gaddafi's army continues resistance after many of its command centers are destroyed, the coalition troops will have to face hard times. Libya has 180 T-90 tanks, 200 T-72, 100 T-62 and 500 T-55 tanks. The ground forces of Libya also have over 2,000 armored vehicles and strong artillery: grenade launchers, tactical missile complexes, volley-fire systems, etc.
Libya has the 50,000-strong regular army. It is impossible to predict how many volunteers can support Gaddafi in the future.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969