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Thursday, June 9, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Brits credit U.S. Apaches; Allies report destroying 1,800 Libyan military targets

LONDON — Britain has determined that the military was successful in attacks on Libya.


Officials said the British Defence Ministry and military assessed that air strikes conducted through the NATO no-fly zone mission were "extraordinarily successful." They cited the use of British fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, including platforms meant for the army in missions over Libya during the last 10 weeks.

The Western alliance has reported the destruction of more than 1,800 military targets, including 100 command and control facilites as well as 500 main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and rocket launchers.

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"We set the pace in Libya and we have been driving very much of the military process," Defence Secretary Liam Fox said.

In an assessment on June 6, Fox cited the British deployment of its U.S.-origin AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Middle East Newsline reported. The secretary said the Libyan mission marked the first time the British military deployed the Apache from naval vessels off the coast of the North African state.

"We were able through NATO to stand up with command and control, we were able to get our assets moving very quickly, we were more than capable within the limitations we had to get our air power projected to ensure that we had Typhoon and Tornado performing very effectively, of course very recently adding in our Apache attack helicopters," Fox said.

Officials said the Apache enhanced the accuracy of air strikes against targets of the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. They said both the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Tornado, equipped with the Israeli-origin Litening air targeting and navigation pod, were also being deployed against Gadhafi's military assets.

The British assets have been working with other NATO air forces, particularly that of France. In late May, NATO was said to have intensified air strikes on Libya.

"Every day fast jets deliver precision-guided weapons on selected targets and each mission is a culmination of extensive planning," NATO said.

So far, Britain has played a major role in NATO strikes in Libya.

"All these elements will put more pressure on Gadhafi," NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. "It is not a question of if, but when he leaves power."

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