Libya - UK - France - US - Turkey

Libya's air force "no longer exists as a fighting force", says UK Air Vice-Marshal

Reuters/ Giampiero Sposito

Britain's Air Vice-Marshall Greg Bagwell told UK media on Wednesday that Libya's air force "no longer exists as a fighting force" following international air strikes against Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi's troops. Bagwell spoke from an airbase in southern Italy where coalition warplanes are flying from.


French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday that Libya coalition partners, including the US, France, UK and others, will meet early next week to discuss Libya. The African Union, Arab League and all interested European nations will be invited for the meeting next Tuesday.

It is important "to make clear that the political leadership is not Nato, but the contact group," said Juppe.

The coalition began military operations on Saturday to enforce a UN resolution to protect civilians and enforce a a no-fly zone.

Meanwhile, Turkey's parliament was scheduled to vote on Thursday whether to send warships to a Nato mission off the coast of Libya. Turkey has already offered a submarine, four frigates and one auxillary ship.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul told reporters on Wednesday that he questions the motives of the coalition forces. "The issue is essentially about peoples' freedom and ending oppression [...] but unfortunately it is obvious that some countries are driven by opportunism," he said, without naming the countries.

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