NATO military operations against Libya's Gaddafi

Following are latest available details of Western military operations in Libya.


* The following NATO countries are participating in the alliance's operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Britain, United States.

* NATO forces have total of 195 aircraft at their disposal.

* Canada has a Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Charlottetown, in the Mediterranean. Its air power consists of six CF-188 Hornet fighter jets; a CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling detachment at the Trapani Birgi air base; a CP-140 Aurora detachment at the Sigonella base.

* The Dutch provide six F-16 fighter jets, which are stationed at Decimomannu Air Base on Sardinia and used for air-to-air missions but not air-to-ground. Maritime assets include one minesweeper, Haarlem. A refuelling plane was deployed until April 4 but will not be returning to combat.

No bombs or missiles have been launched from any Dutch military aircraft or vessel.

* Belgian forces have offered six F-16s, used both for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, as well as a minesweeper.

* Britain has 20 fighter jets stationed in southern Italy, as well as a minesweeper, HMS Brocklesby, and frigate HMS Cumberland enforcing the arms embargo.

* Sweden, which has not fought a war for 200 years, sent eight single-seat JAS 39 Gripen planes to the Sigonella air base in Sicily at the start of April.


* Since NATO assumed command of Western military operations in Libya, its aircraft have made 1,325 sorties, including 527 intended as strike missions. On April 7, it conducted 155 sorties and 54 strike missions. Not all strike sorties have led to targets being hit.

* A total of 19 vessels are patrolling the Mediterranean to enforce a U.N.-mandated arms embargo. Nine vessels were stopped by NATO forces to determine what they were carrying and their destination; no boardings were conducted. Nearly 150 vessels have been halted and five boardings conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

* British Rear Admiral Russell Harding, deputy commander of NATO operations in Libya, said on Friday that 23 targets had been struck in the past 48 hours.

* Targets hit since the start of NATO operations include T-72 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, rocket launchers, surface-to-air missiles and ammunition dumps in locations near Misrata, Ras Lanuf and Brega, he said.

* Libyan rebels said on Friday they had repelled an assault by government troops on the eastern flank of the coastal city of Misrata, but that fighting forced residents to flee the area.

* Britain deployed Tornado GR4s from Gioia del Colle air base in Italy on Tuesday. In the course of the action, a number of Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles were launched at military targets in the areas of Misrata and Sirte. A total of 12 targets were hit: six armoured vehicles and six tanks.

* Also on Tuesday, Britain deployed two Typhoon aircraft to police the no-fly zone. Two RAF VC10 aircraft supported these operations, providing air-to-air refuelling.

* On Wednesday, Britain agreed to move four RAF Typhoons from a policing role to ground attack role, after the deployment of four additional RAF Tornados announced earlier this week.

[Source: Reuters Africa, Brussels, 08Apr11]

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