NATO takes over control in Libya as rebels push on

In international news, NATO Reutersannounced yesterday that it’s taking over the reins in Libya. The organization will assume control of all aerial operations, including ground attacks, from the United States-led coalition.

NATO ambassadors approved the extended plan as a means to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. The international airstrikes have allowed the rebels to regain ground virtually unopposed as they continue their push towards the capital city of Tripoli.

The NATO announcement came as airstrikes began targeting Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte for the first time. The city is considered a bastion of support for Gadhafi and is a key tactical position between the rebel-controlled east and government-controlled west.

The crucial city may already be under rebel control. Middle Eastern news network al-Jazeera has published unconfirmed reports Monday morning that the rebels have successfully captured the city.