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British Apaches Used In Libya For First Time

British Apache helicopters have carried out their first strikes on targets in the Libyan town of Brega, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Sky’s defence correspondent Niall Paterson, who is on board HMS Ocean in the Mediterranean where the aircraft were launched from, said two targets were hit and also an armoured vehicle at a checkpoint.

A variety of weapons were used, including hellfire missiles.

In a statement Nato’s Commander of Operation Unified Protector, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said: “This successful engagement demonstrates the unique capabilities brought to bear by attack helicopters.

“We will continue to use these assets whenever and wherever needed, using the same precision as we do in all of our missions.”

The attack helicopters have been brought into the Nato operation because they provide more flexibility to track and engage pro-Gaddafi forces who deliberately target civilians and attempt to hide in populated areas.

On May 28 Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed four Apaches would be deployed in an attempt to “ratchet up” the pressure on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Twelve French attack helicopters are also being used in Libya.

Earlier this week, Defence Secretary Liam Fox acknowledged the “increased risk” attached to the deployment of attack helicopters, but stressed they would play a key role in bringing a halt to the dictator’s attacks on his own people.

The use of Apaches has alarmed some MPs about the prospect of an escalation in the conflict and the danger to British lives.

Source : SKY NEWS

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Rajowan Syed

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