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British And French Troops Rock Libyan Targets Amid Officials Continued Support
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British And French Troops Rock Libyan Targets Amid Officials Continued Support

The opposition government in Libya has the continued support of NATO forces as evidenced by visits with British officials and continued strikes on specific military targets in the country. Foreign Secretary William Hague and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell were in Benghazi to speak to the leaders of the oppositional government. The British officials were there to again give their continued support for the Transitional National Council as well as for the mine clearing operations in a number of Libyan cities, including Misrata.

Meanwhile, several military air strikes were carried out by both British and French forces using Apache helicopters. The British birds were flown off the deck of their HMS Ocean while the French launched from the deck of Tonnerre. Targets for those strikes included a radar installation and a military checkpoint in Brega, noted as a key oil town located in the eastern part of Libya. Using hell fire missiles and 30mm cannon fire, the attacks all went off as planned with no reports of mishaps or failed targets.

The Royal Air Force carried out an attack one day prior to these, using ground attack aircraft to attack a military installation and two ammunition bunkers located in central Libya. Those attacks came on Friday. The French forces flew missions to attack around twenty targets including vehicles and two armored personnel carriers.

Tripoli was rocked by a string of around ten explosions at the same time heavy fighting was reported in the city of Zintan. Rebels there reported that heavy rocket fire was sustained by ground troops there but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

NATO forces have been targeting military installations, particularly those that have been known to be targeting civilian targets. In addition, there have been more urgent calls for Moammar Gadhafi to step down once and for all. Russia, long a strong and very vocal critic of the NATO missions in Libya has joined in with the group which is calling for the leader to let the country change and grow. Russia signed written support papers for the increased democratic uprisings in both the Middle East and North Africa, joining the US, the UK, France, Canada, Japan, Germany and Italy.

Gadhafi had originally asked for Russia to serve as the mediator between his government and the rebel forces, a sign that there is a strong desire to end the war. However,Russian officials made it clear that before assisting in any cease fire negotiation, Gadhafi would have to comply with previously issued mandates and step down as well as stopping any action which sought solely to harm civilians.

The American forces had destroyed eight of Gadhafi’s warships, targeting those in the areas of Tripoli, Al-Khums and Sirte. The NATO forces chose those targets because of their continued mining of the waters off the coast of Misrata.

Libya’s oppositional government has reached out to NATO for assistance on several occasions, seeking to depose Gadhafi and his loyal government officials.


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