Combat helicopters enter Libya fray

2011-06-04 13:21

Benghazi - Attack helicopters struck Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Saturday, as the Nato-led war entered a new phase.

"Attack helicopters under Nato command were used for the first time," the military alliance said in a statement.

"The targets struck included military vehicles, military equipment and fielded forces" of the Kadhafi regime, it said, without detailing where the strikes had taken place.

British Apache choppers and French Gazelles and Tigres were deployed, the two countries said. The Apaches returned safely to a carrier, Britain's defence ministry said, also without disclosing the targets.

The helicopters destroyed a radar post and a checkpoint near the coastal oil city of Brega in the overnight strikes, according to Britain's domestic news agency PA.

The attacks were launched as part of the aerial campaign to protect Libyan civilians from Kadhafi's forces in line with a UN resolution that barred ground troops.

British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the use of the Apaches showed the willingness of the coalition to "keep the pressure up" on Gaddafi.

"We made to Colonel Gaddafi very clear that there is a very quick way to stop the current Nato  activity and that's for him to go and stop waging war on his own people," Fox told journalists at a Singapore security conference.

"We will continue with the methods we have to degrade his command and control, to degrade his supplies so that we can carry out what we have been asked to do under the UN resolution."

A spokesperson for France's military chiefs, Thierry Brukhard, said the copters destroyed about 20 targets and drew light arms fire from forces on the ground but were not damaged.

In its latest operational update released on Saturday, Nato said it hit a military camp and three command and control nodes in and around Brega.

  • Barr. Fazal KUILA - 2011-06-04 13:53

    Stop this nonsense saying you're there to protect Libyan citizens, are you killing them or protecting them? Don't take us for fools and even though, why must you come to degrade another country's army? First your mission is to protect Libyan citizens but why now turning around wanting to ouster their leader? Tell this stories to Europeans and American because we African's are not interested with your selfish interest in our continent.

      StirMonger - 2011-06-04 14:26

      Sounds like another well researched comment !!

      Anonymus - 2011-06-04 14:31

      you are a fool!

      BernieK - 2011-06-04 15:15

      Gadaffi needs to be taken out. Barr. Fazal KUILA - you sound like a typical idiot. Gadaffi is a killer and a monster. If you are so concerned about what happens in Africa then pick up your AK 47 and chase Gadaffi out of this place! Africa does not need Gadaffi's or Mugabe's or any dictator for that matter. Nato etc are the only entities with guts to stand up to criminals like Gadaffi. Who else must do the job? The people of Africa? No, they are trying but are then slaughtered like animals so who must step in? Do you for one moment think that the rebels in Libya have the means to take on the criminal Gadaffi? No? So shut your trap!

      slg - 2011-06-04 15:46

      Speak for yourself, Barr.

      slg - 2011-06-04 15:51

      Do you still believe the US Federal Reserve is a privately owned bank, and the higher the price of oil the better for the US economy? :)

  • 106SA - 2011-06-04 14:20

    Golly, and I thought, Jacob Zuma, and, the AU, would find a peaceful solution??I'm shocked that there are still problems there!!!!I mean...the AU are normally SO GOOD!!!!!

      BernieK - 2011-06-04 15:19

      I am so shocked too!! I was under the impression that Lord Zuma have the influence to change criminal Gadaffi's mind. Apparently Lord Zuma could not budge criminal Gadaffi mind. Perhaps they must get President Malema to step in. He seems to be a man of charisma etc. Or would that be a mistake? Sorry, I'm just asking and try to be helpful...sorry..

  • rordnas - 2011-06-04 14:32

    "...Under the guise of “protecting innocent civilians,” the U.S. military, Africom, NATO, and the United Nations are now bombing Libya, raining destruction upon the Libyan economic and military infrastructure and killing untold numbers of innocent Africans. Here are just 10 of the many obvious reasons why this so-called “spontaneous” protest was from beginning to end another CIA operation...." Please read:

      Bloodbane - 2011-06-04 15:10

      another gullable idiot... pity there's so many like you around

      slg - 2011-06-04 15:48

      Still spewing da-garbage and trying to spread it around, rordnas? These are not legitimate websites. Google PBS Frontline and PBS Newshour instead.

  • Slapper - 2011-06-04 14:39

    Very Interesting? they must be desperate to get their hands on the Oil? No help for Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc. It must be a case of "No oil, no problem".

      Bloodbane - 2011-06-04 15:11

      it is far more complicated than that.... problem is people like you dont take time to get the facts

      BernieK - 2011-06-04 15:26

      Slapper, you are another of those conspiracy lunatics. DO YOUR OWN research and go talk DIRECTLY to the entities that you seem to accuse. There are conspiracy books and nonsense on the internet that are produced by scaremongers. There is NO master organisation trying to control the world. It does not exist.

      GonnyVonYuri - 2011-06-04 15:35

      Slapper - United Nations authorised the bombings - ask them why no help for Syria!

      slg - 2011-06-04 15:49

      Slapper, give yourself three quick slaps to the face. This is not about oil.

      Slapper - 2011-06-04 15:55

      @the lot. Amazing that they will not do the same elsewhere. No conspiraciy theory, just a healthy dose of Skepticism. F***ing Drongos are naive enough to think this is about saving the innocent? Break it down , Morons.

      slg - 2011-06-04 16:31

      You're cynical Slapper. That doesn't mean everyone is.

  • slg - 2011-06-04 15:57

    The international community really must become smarter and more focused. Countries that have been hijacked by tyrants are not sovereign states. They've been hijacked. These tyrants should be given a period of time to create real reform, under international supervision, or leave. If they don't leave they should be removed. For this to happen though, a strong international alliance against tyranny is needed. Perhaps this will be the outcome of Libya.

      Mr D - 2011-06-04 23:25

      mmmmmmmmm u smoking dagga too?

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