Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have attacked a Qadhafi regime military camp in Tripoli. The aircraft struck just after midnight, using Paveway IV bombs to destroy the target. As in all NATO attacks, a full set of checks was carried out to minimise collateral damage:
Major General John Lorimer said:
“The Ministry of Defence can confirm that UK Armed Forces, as part of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector to enforce UNSCR 1973 and protect Libyan civilians under threat of attack, took action last night against targets in Tripoli closely involved in the repression of the Libyan people by Colonel Qadhafi’s regime. In conjunction with strikes by other NATO allies, Royal Navy Tomahawk missiles, fired from HMS Triumph, and Royal Air Force Tornado aircraft attacked important intelligence agency buildings and a training base used by Colonel Qadhafi’s Executive Protection Force.
“The facilities that were struck lay at the heart of the apparatus used by the regime to brutalise the civilian population. One of the intelligence facilities which was hit is known to play a significant role in the collection of information by Colonel Qadhafi’s secret police, whilst the other was a headquarters for the External Security Organisation, commanded by Abdullah Sanussi.
“The so-called Executive Protection Force acts as the bodyguard for the inner circle of the Colonel’s regime, and is also entrusted with other sensitive tasks. Vehicles at the training base have been identified as having been directly involved in the bloody suppression of public demonstrations in Tripoli on 4 March, when live ammunition was used against the legitimate protestors.
“This action clearly demonstrates both NATO’s commitment and its ability to reach out and strike directly at Qadhafi’s instruments of repression; the consequences are clear for those who choose to continue supporting this regime. As ever, the utmost care was taken in targeting, with every measure taken to avoid innocent civilian casualties.”