Announcement

UK forces continue action against Gaddafi former regime

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK forces, as part of NATO's Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, taking further action against elements of Colonel Gaddafi's former regime in Libya.

Yesterday morning, Monday 29 August 2011, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft on an armed reconnaissance patrol located an ammunition lorry near to the heavily damaged central ordnance depot at Waddan, in central Libya. A Brimstone missile destroyed the vehicle.

In the evening, a further RAF patrol successfully targeted three buildings near Bani Walid, 100 miles (160km) south east of Tripoli, which NATO surveillance analysis had shown were in use by Gaddafi’s forces for command and control purposes and ammunition storage. Paveway precision guided bombs destroyed all three.

On Sunday, RAF Tornado GR4 jets spotted some of Colonel Gaddafi’s artillery in action near Sidra, to the west of Ras Lanuf. A combination of Paveway guided bombs and Brimstone missiles destroyed a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, a heavy artillery piece in a gun emplacement, and a pick-up truck armed with a heavy weapon.

On Saturday evening, an armed reconnaissance patrol over Tripoli by RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft was tasked by NATO to prosecute a FROG-7 ballistic missile launch vehicle.

RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft takes off from Gioia del Colle air base in southern Italy (stock image)
RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft takes off from Gioia del Colle air base in southern Italy (stock image) [Picture: Sergeant Pete Mobbs RAF, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

This had been spotted in the hands of Gaddafi’s forces near the former regime’s rocket artillery depot south of the capital, at Bin Ghashir, near to the international airport.

A long range, if not very accurate, heavy artillery rocket, the weapon represented a significant potential threat to the population of Tripoli. The RAF aircraft successfully engaged the missile launcher with a Paveway guided bomb.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced yesterday that a small FCO-led team, consisting of diplomatic and technical staff, is now on the ground in Tripoli as part of the preparations for a wider diplomatic presence, reflecting the recent military progress which means that some members of Libya’s National Transitional Council have already moved to Tripoli.