Libya strikes 'coordinated' by US: France

20th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Air strikes by Britain, France and the United States on Libyan territory are being coordinated at a US headquarters in Germany, a French official told AFP on Saturday.

"This is a multilateral operation coordinated by the US command for US forces in Europe which is based in Stuttgart, Germany," said the official on condition of anonymity.

The headquarters is coordinating with French and British operational centres in Lyon and Northwood, respectively.

He said the United States had a "strategic" role in the coordination, and the command of the operation would be determined once an ad hoc coalition was formed.

"At this point, we are talking about coordination," he said.

As part of the coalition force, the United Arab Emirates has pledged 24 aircraft (Mirage 2000-9s and F-16s) and Qatar between four and six 2000-5s, he added.

Where these planes would be deployed is not immediately clear, the official said, adding that France was seeking to "accompany, fly" these Arab country planes.

He said most planes flying missions over Libya were French, with "a few British planes," namely Tornados and Eurofighters.

US B-2 stealth bombers could be deployed at a later stage, he said.

© 2011 AFP

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