11 April 2011

Libya Shot Down *Something* - Not Sure What...

The Libyan government says they shot down 2 helicopters. Great. Who did they belong to?

Libyan government forces shot down two U.S.-built helicopters being used by rebel forces in the east of the country, the deputy foreign minister said early on Sunday.
Khaled Kaim also slammed the international community for allowing rebel forces to operate aircraft despite the existence of a no-fly zone over the country following U.N. Security Council resolution 1973.
"A clear violation was committed by the rebels to resolution 1973 relating to the no-fly zone. The rebels used two Chinook helicopters and they were shot down" near the eastern oil facilities of Brega, he said. "We have a question for the allied forces — is this resolution made for the Libyan government only or everyone in Libya?"
The report could not be confirmed with the rebels, but journalists in the area did describe seeing at least one helicopter apparently fighting for the rebels in the area Saturday, though it lacked the distinctive double rotor design of Chinook and appeared to be a Russian built model.
Most aircraft used by the Libyans, whether government or rebel forces, are Russian made, however, but the Directory of World Air Forces from 2008 says Libya had 20 Chinooks, which are used primarily for transport and heavy lifting, in service.
While the Libyan government forces still possess most of the military aircraft in the country, a few were taken by the rebels when some air force units defected in the east of the country following popular uprisings against Moammar Gadhafi's four decades of rule.
NATO, which enforces the no-fly zone said it has been has been applying it to both sides and on Saturday intercepted a rebel MiG-23 fighter jet and forced it back to the airport.

By: Brant

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