Aid to Libyan Rebels Aimed at Protecting Civilians: U.S. Spokesman
    2011-04-22 05:53:19     Xinhua       Web Editor: Zhangxu

Giving body armor and other aid to the Libyan rebels is aimed at protecting civilian populations, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton on Wednesday recommended up to 25 million dollars worth of aid to the Libyan opposition, including body armor and radio. The proposal needs to be authorized by the White House.

Toner said the State Department believed this is "in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and within its mandate."

"It is about protecting civilian populations because these are the forces that are trying to defend against Gaddafi's onslaught," he said when asked how the aid squares with the UN mandate to protect civilians.

Toner said the U.S. special representative is on the ground in Benghazi, a stronghold of the rebels, and has assessed the needs of the opposition.

"We're trying to meet their needs in a coherent and appropriate way," he said.

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