Hague, in a statement on April 19, did not say how many advisors would be
sent to Benghazi, the headquarters of the Libyan rebel movement. The
statement marked the first military contingent by a NATO member in Libya
since the alliance's no-fly zone mission, which began in mid-March.
The British military deployment in Libya came amid an admission by NATO
that it was unable to stop the advance by Gadhafi forces, Middle East Newsline reported. Despite
intensified air operations, Gadhafi's estimated 20,000-member military has
continued attacks on major rebel strongholds, including Misrata.
Hague said the British military team would work with Foreign Office
personnel already in Benghazi. He said the officers would be deployed
quickly, but no timetable was given.
Officials said the team would consist of officers from the British
special forces, including the air force and navy. They said the first
contingent could contain 20 officers and help coordinate NATO air strikes.
"This contingent will be drawn from experienced British military
officers," Hague said.
France has reiterated its opposition to ground troops in Libya. But
France has called for an intensification of NATO air strikes.
"We are absolutely opposed to a deployment of troops on the ground,"
French Foreign Minister Alan Juppe said.