TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi said Friday that he ordered his planes to patrol the Gulf of Sidra and put his navy and air force on "total alert" after U.S. air and naval maneuvers off Libya were announced.
Kadafi said the planes were "to defend Libya's territorial waters." The United States has rejected Kadafi's claim to jurisdiction in the gulf.
Around this capital city, no outward sign of a "total alert" was seen among Libyan naval forces or among troops in barracks. Corvettes and patrol boats and an outdated conventional submarine of the Libyan navy remained moored in the harbor throughout the day.
Kadafi received three Western reporters in his tent at a local military barracks to denounce the U.S. exercises as "an aggressive provocation" by President Reagan.
"Reagan thinks he can still treat the Arabs as though he were living in the age of the Crusades," Kadafi said through an interpreter.