- Italy pledges support for any sanctions against Libya
- France to send military advisers to Libya
- Putin says 'dumbfounded' over NATO operation in Libya
- Moscow won't back force in 'new Libya resolution'
- NATO asks Libya's neighbors for assistance in fight against Gaddafi
- Western air strikes hit Libya for fifth night
- “NATO falling short in protecting Libyan civilians”
- Libya: Confrontation on the ground, bombs from the air
- Military operation in Libya: Coalition targets Gaddafi’s military arsenal
- Area of Benghazi, Libyan opposition stronghold, after air strikes against forces loyal to Gaddafi
- Military operation in Libya
- Libyan Armed Forces
Eight Italian combat aircraft will be directly involved in airstrikes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said on Wednesday.
The strike group comprises four Tornado fighter jets and four AV8 Harrier attack aircraft.
"The planes and the pilots are ready and will be assigned to take part in airstrikes immediately," La Russa announced at a meeting with Italian lawmakers.
An additional four Italian F-16 fighters are taking part in patrolling the Libyan skies in line with the UN-authorized enforcement of a no-fly zone over the North African country.
The Italian defense minister insisted that NATO airstrikes were "absolutely necessary" to continue applying pressure on the Gaddafi regime.
A total of 14 of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo.
The alliance has stepped up airstrikes around Tripoli and four other major cities in recent days.
Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi's forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.
ROME, April 27 (RIA Novosti)
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.