UN authorises Libya No Fly Zone

RAF Tornado GR4 at low level in Wales, June 2010 / © Philip Stevens

RAF Tornado GR4 at low level in Wales, June 2010 / © Philip Stevens

Posted By Frank Grealish

March 17 - The United Nations Security Council has passed Resolution 1973 which gives authorisation to member countries to take military action against all threats to civilians, which could include bombing ground forces loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the establishment of a no fly zone. The resolution however does not allow for an invasion of Libya.

Countries who have agreed to support implementing the resolution are France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Qatar, Norway and Belgium. Poland has offered logistical support while Denmark has agreed to support the resolution pending a vote in parliament.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said that "Britain will deploy Tornadoes and Typhoons as well as air-to-air refuelling and surveillance aircraft. Preparations to deploy these aircraft have already started and in the coming hours they will move to airbases from where they can start to take the necessary action."

Canada is sending CF-188 Hornets to support the resolution (the Hornet deployment is called Task Force Libeccio while the overall response is called Operation Mobile), France is preparing Mirage 2000D's, Belgium has offered F-16's while Italy and Spain have offered the use of their bases.

A few hours after the passing of the resolution the Libyan government announced an immediate ceasefire in its offensive against rebels who seized large areas of the country so it remains to be seen what, if any, foreign military intervention takes place.

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