UK, France to deploy copters in Libya

2011-05-27 10:12

London - Britain is ready to deploy ground attack helicopters in the conflict in Libya along with France, which has already agreed to provide helicopters as the fight against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is intensified, London confirmed on Friday.

"Ministers have given clearance in principle for the deployment of attack helicopters in Libya. It is a matter now for military commanders to make decisions on deployment," a spokesperson for Downing Street said.

Confirmation of the deployment came after Prime Minister David Cameron gave his approval from the G8 summit in Deauville, where he discussed the matter with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

It is understood that Britain will supply at least four, but possibly up to eight, Apache helicopters for deployment in Libya. France has already confirmed that it will provide around a dozen Tiger helicopters.

There had been speculation about the move since Monday after France said it would be deploying French Tiger helicopters.

Earlier this week, Cameron said it was time to "turn up the heat" on Gaddafi. The governments in London and Paris insist that the use of attack helicopters is in line with the UN resolution on Libya and does not mark an escalation in the conflict.

- SAPA

Read more on:    uk  |  france  |  david cameron  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa  |  uprisings  |  libya protests
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