French Military Jets Fly over Libya

World | March 19, 2011, Saturday // 16:49|  views

Two RAF Tornado aircraft fly over RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland, during a training exercise on 18 March 2011. RAF Tornado and Typhoon fighters will start heading to the Mediterranean to protect Libyans from Muammar Gaddafi's forces. Photo by EPA

French military jets have flown reconnaissance missions over "all Libyan territory" on Saturday, BBC reported, citing French military sources.

It is believed to be the first sign of intervention since the UN voted on Thursday for a no-fly zone over Libya and comes as Western and Arab leaders meet in Paris to agree a course of action.

The French Rafale jets took off from their base at Saint-Dizier in eastern France, a military source told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

The planes encountered no problems during the first few hours of their mission, the source said, and the flights will continue for the next several hours.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told journalists at the summit in Paris that he believed British, French and Canadian aircraft would launch the first airstrikes, the BBC's Carole Walker in Paris reports.

The strikes are likely to take place later on Saturday.

Earlier in the day Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sent urgent messages to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron telling them they "will regret" interfering in the country's affairs.

"If you intervene in our country you will regret it," a spokesman quoted him as telling them.

Gaddafi had also sent messages to US President Barack Obama and UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

Part of his messages said, "I have all the Libyan people with me and they are prepared to die for me -- men, women

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Tags: UN Security Council, UN, canada, Italy, Germany, France, Britain, UK, USA, Benghazi, rebels, Gaddafi, Muammar, no-fly zone, Libya, military action, Paris, summit, NATO, French, Libyan


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