US Senator John McCain has warned that the war in Libya could reach a stalemate if Washington does not arm the revolutionary forces fighting against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
"I think we could do the same thing that we did in the 1980s Afghan struggle against the Russians. There are ways to get weapons in without direct US supplying," AFP quoted McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as saying on Wednesday.
McCain expressed opposition to the deployment of US ground troops to Libya but urged the Obama administration to recognize the Libyan opposition-founded Transitional National Council. He also said the US should get its air power back in the fight in Libya.
The senator who recently visited the eastern city of Benghazi said the only way to overpower Gaddafi is for the US to take over Libya operation from the NATO, stating that the European allies lack capabilities to effectively fight against Gaddafi regime.
McCain said getting American air force back in the battlefield “to take out Gaddafi's armor” would be outside the UN Security Council mandate which authorized the no-fly zone over Libya, but said it would be necessary to protect civilians.
US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz has said the number of fatalities since the revolution in the North African country could be as high as 30,000. Cretz said that Washington has not decided to recognize the Libyan Transitional National Council.
On Wednesday, NATO warplanes continued bombarding the vicinity of the besieged town of Misratah to push back forces loyal to the Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. However, Gaddafi loyalists shelled the western town after NATO airstrikes.