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New allies join Libya offensive

REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
2 min

Four nations have joined France, Britain and the United States in an international campaign to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. Following United Nations Security Council resolution 1973, Denmark, Canada, Norway and Belgium have all sent fighter jets to the Mediterranean to combat forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.


The country's centre-right, Nato-enthusiastic government wants to take a leading position in supporting the uprising.


"Denmark has been on the front line ... during all the Arab uprisings and is also there for Libya," Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said last week.

With a general election set to take place this fall, the move is allowing the government to score points with voters.

Canada, headed by a conservative government keen on asserting military power, has sent six planes to a base in Italy, which participated in strikes on Monday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is also looking to bolster domestic support, as his minority government will seek endorsement from one of the country's opposition parties on Tuesday to approve its budget and avoid being brought down.

Norway and Belgium, who sent six and five jets respectively, habitually take action to support UN resolutions.

The coalition is also counting on support from Spain, Italy and Qatar, with the latter providing a key ally from the Arab world.

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