Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya's air force no longer exists, say Air vice Marshall

Libya's air force "no longer exists as a fighting force" following devastating air strikes by international coalition forces, a British military officer has claimed. The claim came as fierce fighting continued on the ground on Wednesday as forces loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi continued their offensive against anti-government rebels across the north African state.addressing journalists at an air base in southern Italy, from which Royal Air Force (RAF) warplanes have been operating, Air Vice Marshall Greg Bagwell said international coalition forces could operate with impunity over Libya."Effectively, [Libya's] air force no longer exists as a fighting force," said Bagwell. "And his [Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's] integrated air defence system and command and control networks are severely degraded to the point that we can operate over his airspace with impunity," he said.Bagwell said US, French and British forces involved in the strikes that began on Saturday had "taken away (Gaddafi's) eyes and ears" and "destroyed the majority of his air force".
Bagwell said coalition forces were also targeting Gaddafi's ground forces."We have the Libyan ground forces under constant observation and we attack them whenever they threaten or attack civilians or population centres," he said. Click here to watch the adress of Air Vice marshall.

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