Categorized | Libya

Libya war costs surpass US estimate’



US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the aerial war on Libya has cost the United States about 750 million dollars so far, despite the Pentagon’s initial assessment.

“It’s probably at this point somewhere in the ballpark of 750 million dollars,” AFP quoted Gates as saying on Thursday.

Pentagon officials previously anticipated that the operation would cost the US military 604 million dollars from the start of the US-backed military effort on March 19 to April 4.

Meanwhile, US officials failed to provide an explanation for the hike in the cost of the aerial operations.

The Pentagon had also predicted a 40-million-dollar price tag for the operation per month.

The US has backed up the NATO-led campaign in Libya through providing refueling tankers, surveillance aircraft and two unmanned Predator drones since the beginning of April.

The US and NATO have unleashed a punishing UN-mandated aerial offensives against the Gaddafi regime to force him to cede power, but the Libyan ruler has shown scant signs of a willingness to abandon his 41-year-old reign.

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