France withdraws aircraft from Libya mission

2011-08-04 11:10

Paris - France's aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will next week return home for maintenance from its mission supporting Nato airstrikes on Libya, defence minister Gerard Longuet said in an interview on Thursday.

The vessel, France's only aircraft carrier and Europe's biggest warship, will leave on August 10 to head for its home port of Toulon for several weeks of maintenance work, he told Var-Matin newspaper.

The French navy website, however, said the work would take several months.

Longuet insisted that France would maintain its commitment to the Libya mission, where since March the alliance has conducted air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces as part of a UN mandate to protect civilians.

"Gaddafi should not expect any respite," he said, adding that French warplanes would keep up their strikes and reconnaissance flights from land bases.

Longuet's announcement came three days after Norway withdrew its final four F-16 fighter jets that have been taking part in the Nato-led mission over Libya.

Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler, last month scaled back its involvement in the operation by withdrawing the aircraft carrier Garibaldi.

Only eight of Nato's 28 member states have flown bombing missions since the alliance took command of the operation on March 31: Norway, Britain, France, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the United States.

London has increased its contribution by adding four Tornado jets, effectively making up for the loss of the Norwegian planes.

  • George - 2011-08-04 11:50

    The french are running away. Gaddaffi is going nowhere. We all thought that it would be quick and easy. Reality is starting dawn on us.

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-08-04 12:00

      Gaddafi is not going anywhere indeed.

      Freddie - 2011-08-04 12:48

      The French are running away... so what is new? The British, Americans and Canadians will see it through, as always. Watch the Italians will be next.

      Anton - 2011-08-04 16:55

      Not in their wildest imagination did ANYONE believe these gaddafi scum would unleash such a reign of terror on their own people. But the Libyans themselves will take out this tyrant. FOR SURE!!!

      Bernhard Rohrbeck - 2011-08-04 17:39

      As lie- and spy media does not want to provide any news from what happens inside Libya- Press Conference by Libyan Government Spokesperson Dr. Moussa Ibrahim on Wednesday 03-08-2011

      Anton - 2011-08-04 17:56

      Bernhard, Thanks a lot, but I prefer Far more accurate and lots more info And a hundred times better than that those damn LIES from CNN and the BBC!!!!!!

      Bernhard Rohrbeck - 2011-08-04 18:03

      Anton Really should try to get that domain, wonderful suggestion, do you mind?

      slg - 2011-08-04 18:43

      George, Kunta, Freddie, Bernhard, please explain to South Africans why Libyans should not have the right to vote and they should only have representation on tribal councils, like in Apartheid? Please explain why tens of thousands of Libyans are being detained, killed, maimed and raped for wanting nothing more than the basic human right to vote and live free from oppression. Please also explain how you reconcile labeling the so-called West as terrorists and murderers when you support dictators like Gadhafi and Asad who do these very things.

      temp256 - 2011-08-04 20:29

      slg, please explain to us why Saudi people should not have the right to vote whatsoever? Please explain why hundreds of Saudi people are being arrested for wanting nothing more than the basic human right to vote and live free from oppression. Please also explain how you reconcile labeling the legitimate Libyan government as thugs and murderers when you support dictator like Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz who does these very things.

      slg - 2011-08-04 23:56

      I don't support the Saudi regime in that way, and I am very pleased the Saudi people, in particular Saudi women, are demanding greater individual rights. At the same time, to suggest the Saudi regime is responsible for anything even remotely close to what Gadhafi has done, and is doing, in Libya is another unsuccessful attempt to obfuscate from what is going on Libya. It is not even close.

      slg - 2011-08-05 00:15

      I wish you could see what you look like from a South African's point of view. You're saying South Africans should support Gadhafi who denies Libyans the right to vote and only gives them representation on tribal councils. This was the very system South Africans overthrew in Apartheid. You're saying, ignore Libya because there are human rights abuses in other countries. This is the same as saying don't support the ANC, when Apartheid was still around, because there are abuses in other countries. No offence, but it's a ridiculous idea.

      temp256 - 2011-08-05 07:31

      slg, you ARE supporting NATO and their ally Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz who denies Saudi people the basic human right to vote. You don't like that libyans can have representation on tribal councils, but in Sadi Arabia people have no representation AT ALL. Of course you are very pleased the Saudi people, in particular Saudi women, are being jailed, however there is no evidence of oppressions in Libya other than those that have been committed by rebels. Now, you are doing exactly what has happened in the world: while everybody's attention was on Libya and on lies about oppressions, the real oppression was in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain where people have been jailed and killed by Saudi brutal ruler. Now you are trying to obfuscate the truth in the same way by lying and screaming at "oppression" in Libya without any evidence whatsoever while REAL oppression continues in Saudi Arabia. So, slg, why do you think it's completely normal to jail and deny Saudi people of their basic human right to vote and why are you trying to obfuscate it by lying about Libya?

      slg - 2011-08-05 08:10

      As I have said to you elsewhere, Temp, I am very happy the Saudi people are demanding change. I hope and expect they will go all the way and free themselves from the Saudi form of oppression. But this in no way excuses or changes what is happening in Libya.

      temp256 - 2011-08-05 08:48

      slg, I'm glad you are happy about the Saudi people are demanding change, however why do you think it's completely normal to jail for this demanding of change and to deny Saudi people of their basic human right to vote and why are you trying to obfuscate it by lying about Libya?

  • jameswilliamhorn - 2011-08-04 12:08

    Now that Nato is stuck there they should just take out Gadaffi. It would flout international law but the whole mission over there is already doing that. Get Gadaffi and his sons and Nato could leave tomorrow.

      Onnest - 2011-08-04 12:48

      Geez james...where you been? If you haven't noticed that's what they have been trying to do for the past 5 months. They have just about bombed the whole of Tripoli, and still have not managed. 'Flout International law'- they are beyond that...They should leave Gadaffi and the rest of Libya to sort out their own problems. Quite simple.

      Anton - 2011-08-04 16:57

      Only the scum of this earth , will spend his nights in a hospital!! WHAT A MAN !!! WHAT A HERO !!

      slg - 2011-08-04 18:46

      It wouldn't flout international law. UN Resolution 1973 gives Nato the authority to take whatever steps necessary to protect civilians. The orders to harm civilians are coming from Gadhafi, his sons and their cronies. I believe they should be given a period of time within which to surrender. If they don't, they should be targeted.

      slg - 2011-08-04 18:52

      Onnest, that is definitely not the answer. Gadhafi has control of Libyan state resources, including its military. Libyans who want nothing more than the right to vote and live free of oppression are hopelessly outmuscled. It's like saying to the international community during Apartheid they should not help Black South Africans to get rid of the Apartheid regime. Libyans do not have the right to vote. They only have representation on tribal councils, like Apartheid, and they live under oppression. Tens of thousands of Libyans have been detained, maimed, raped and killed by Gadhafi, his sons and their cronies. Just about the entire world have said Gadhafi must go.

      Anton - 2011-08-04 19:41

      No doubt about it, the biggest support this fruitcake has got, is from this site.

      Datbrotherfromthestates - 2011-08-04 19:58

      thats not true Anton,you should go to the LONDON TELEGRAPH and see what the WHITES from the UK have to say about your precious nato!

      Anton - 2011-08-05 02:00

      Datbrotherfromthestates, First of all, I am not a racist, so it makes no difference, if it are whites or blacks, for or against. Just give the nos, that's good enough. Secondly, don't "assume" I know it is the easy way out, but politics is a tiny more complicated than seeing things only in black and white, as you say " your "precious" Nato it clearly shows that after there have been hundreds of anti gaddafi comments, you have either not read them or failed to understand them. Contrary to your comments, they have very little to do with the USA, Europe, or for that matter Nato, BUT ALL ABOUT AFRICA

  • theunsvw - 2011-08-04 13:35

    How do you build an italian tank....? one gear forward and six reverse gears!

  • Mundu - 2011-08-04 16:32

    Well isn't that just like the French ! Gen. Patton said during WW11 "he'd rather have the Gremans in front of him than the French behind him". Leave it to the Brits & the Yanks.

  • Anton - 2011-08-04 17:03

    The ones pro and the ones anti gaddafi, Lets be glad we don't live in Syria. Goofy has just cut all internet connection.

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