First wave of allied assault on Libya: 112 cruise missiles

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. and British ships and submarines launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses and a senior American defense official said it was believed Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses suffered substantial damage.

In the strikes, 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya's air force.

While U.S. defense officials cautioned that it was too early to fully gauge the impact of the onslaught, the official said that given the precision targeting of the Navy's cruise missiles, they felt that Libya's air defenses suffered a good deal of damage.

The official spoke on grounds of anonymity because the ongoing mission.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)