Baghdad Bobby must be so proud of his protege.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anxious to reduce its front-line air combat role in Libya, the Obama administration pressed Thursday for allies who first pushed for the campaign to come up with a workable alternative.

U.S. officials said the leadership handoff would come within a few days — with President Barack Obama facing growing congressional misgivings — and fellow NATO countries held crisis talks about the military operation.

In Ankara, Turkey, state-run TV quoted the foreign minister as saying Turkey’s objections concerning NATO’s role had been met and NATO would indeed take command. No official action on such a switch was immediately announced.

The U.S. has been vague about what combat role the American military might continue to play once allies take the formal lead.

American and allied planes and ships pummeled Libyan air defenses and other military targets Thursday as the international alliance confronting Moammar Gadhafi moved toward shifting its command lead from Washington to NATO.

U.S. officials avoid describing the operation as a war. White house press secretary Jay Carney said it was “a time-limited, scope-limited military action.”