French Jets over Libya

formerBrat

Lab Animal
Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
221
Location
SoTX
This report from the Washington post confirmed that French jets have already begun missions over Libya, particularly over a rebel held city.

This report doesn't mention it, but a CBS story indicated they were purely recon missions at the time, but that was at the time of the story. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20044969-503543.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...gadhafis-forces/2011/03/18/ABvGIts_story.html

French jets make sweep of rebel-held Libyan city besieged by Gadhafi’s forces


By Associated Press, Saturday, March 19, 11:54 AM



BENGHAZI, Libya — French fighter jets soared over a rebel-held city besieged by Moammar Gadhafi’s troops on Saturday, the first mission for an international military force launched in support of the 5-week-old uprising against the Libyan leader’s rule.



/ The Associated Press - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa discuss in the Elysee Palace in Paris, during a crisis summit on Libya, Saturday, March, 19, 2011. Britain and France took the lead in plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya on Friday, sending British warplanes to the Mediterranean and announcing a crisis summit in Paris with the U.N. and Arab allies.(AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris that French jets were already targeting Gadhafi’s forces. The 22 participants in Saturday’s summit “agreed to put in place all the means necessary, in particular military” to make Gadhafi respect a U.N. Security Council resolution Thursday demanding a cease-fire, Sarkozy said.
Gadhafi had tried to take advantage of the time lag betwen the U.N. resolution and the launch of the international operation, making a decisive strike on the Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and the first major stronghold of the rebellion. Crashing shells shook buildings, and the sounds of battle drew closer to the city center as its residents despaired. A doctor said 27 bodies were brought to the hospital by midday. By late in the day, warplanes could be heard overhead.
“Our planes are blocking the air attacks on the city” of Benghazi, he said, without elaborating. French planes have been readying for an attack in recent days.
In an open letter, Gadafhi warned: “You will regret it if you dare to intervene in our country.”
Libyan state TV said Libyans, including women and children, were having a sit-in at the Tripoli international airport, apparently to deter bombers. It showed footage of hundreds of mostly young men on the runway carrying green flags and signs in support of Gadhafi.
Earlier Saturday, a plane was shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, sending up a massive black cloud of smoke. An Associated Press reporter saw the plane go down in flames and heard the sound of artillery and crackling gunfire.
Before the plane went down, journalists heard what appeared to be airstrikes from it. Rebels cheered and celebrated at the crash, though the government denied a plane had gone down — or that any towns were shelled on Saturday.
The oil minister, Shukri Ghanem, held a news conference calling on foreign oil companies to send back their workers. He said the government would honor all its contracts.
“It is not our intention to violate any of these agreements and we hope that from their part they will honor this agreement and they will send back their workforces,” he said.
Italy, which had been the main buyer for Libyan oil, offered the use of seven air and navy bases already housing U.S., NATO and Italian forces to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.
Italy’s defense minister, Ignazio La Russa, said Saturday that Italy wasn’t just “renting out” its bases for others to use but was prepared to offer “moderate but determined” military support..........

snip..............
___
Al-Shalchi reporter from Tripoli, Libya. Associated Press writers Ben Hubbard in Cairo; Nicole Winfield in Rome and Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
Top