x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UAE warplanes in Sardinia ahead of dispatch to Libya

UAE warplanes begin gathering in Sardinia ahead of flight operations over Libya.

A UAE fighter plane lands on the tarmac at the Nato airbase in Decimomannu, Sardinia, Italy.
A UAE fighter plane lands on the tarmac at the Nato airbase in Decimomannu, Sardinia, Italy.

ABU DHABI // UAE fighter jets due to help patrol the Libyan no-fly zone began arriving in Sardinia on Sunday.

The Emirates pledged six F-16s and six Mirage warplanes to the coalition, although it is not yet known when they will begin flight operations over the North African nation.

The UAE and Qatar are the only Arab countries to join the coalition with warplanes in patrolling the no-fly zone over Libya. The decision to involveUAE aircraft in the coalition was announced last Friday by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution two weeks ago allowing the use of all necessary measures short of a ground invasion to protect Libyan civilians from Col Muammar Qaddafi's forces. Rebels have engaged in fierce fighting with Col Qaddafi's troops as they attempt to bring an end to four decades of rule by the Libyan leader.

hdajani@thenational.ae