Libya: Royal Navy Warship Identifies Gaddafi Positions During Night-Time Missions


After ceremonially escorting the flagship of Free Libyan forces into Tripoli, HMS Liverpool has returned to the gunline and taking part preliminaries of what might be the last major battle of the civil war.

The destroyer has shifted from waters off the Libyan capital to those off Sirte, 230 miles away, where Free Libyan troops are mustering for a showdown with pro-Gaddafi forces.

The port city of 75,000 souls – roughly half way between Benghazi and Tripoli – is the hometown of Colonel Gaddafi and remains loyal to the dictator, even after the capital fell to freedom fighters last week.

Under NATO’s Operation Unified Protector – which has been enforcing UN sanctions and clamping down on the Gaddafi government since March – Liverpool was ordered to sail close to coastal positions occupied by troops still supporting the dictator.

The Portsmouth-based warship fired star shells over two suspected vehicle check points; the light cast on them confirmed the intelligence reports – and caused the pro-Gaddafi troops to hastily climb in their vehicles and disperse.
Free Libya forces are moving in on Sirte from east and west and have called on troops holding the port – estimated to be up to 6,000 strong – to surrender rather than hold a last-ditch stand.

In the meantime, UK forces continue to support the NATO mission and denude the Gaddafi military machine.
Maj Gen Nick Pope, spokesman for the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Sir David Richards, said the RAF had continued to strike at Gaddafi forces, both at Waddan where tanks, rocket launchers and support vehicles were knocked out, and at Bani Walid some 100 miles south-east of Tripoli, where a barracks and attendant military vehicles were struck by Paveway guided bombs.

Source: royalnavy, September 4, 2011;