CIA operatives are providing intelligence from Libya, where opposition forces are on the run and the defiant government suffered the embarrassing defection of its foreign minister Wednesday.
The NATO-led coalition, which is enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians from the intense fighting, got no help from the weather in its ongoing efforts to protect the fragile opposition movement.
“The weather conditions did not allow close combat support by aircraft in the last couple of days,” said Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Moammar Gadhafi’s government, for its part, kept up the war of words. State-run Libyan TV late Wednesday quoted a military source as saying a “civilian location was shelled tonight in the city of Tripoli by the colonizing crusader aggression.”
Amid debate on whether the allies will arm the retreating and undertrained rebels, a U.S. intelligence source told CNN the CIA is in the country to increase the “military and political understanding” of the situation. “Yes, we are gathering intel firsthand and we are in contact with some opposition entities,” said the source.
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