Factbox – NATO military operations against Libya’s Gaddafi

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Following are latest available details of Western military operations in Libya.

* NATO forces have a total of about 195 aircraft at their disposal.

* Since NATO took command of Western military operations in Libya on March 31, its aircraft have made 1,567 sorties, including 643 intended as strike missions. On April 9, it conducted 133 sorties and 56 strike missions. Not all strike sorties have led to targets being hit.

* Eighteen vessels are patrolling the Mediterranean to enforce a U.N.-mandated arms embargo. Thirty-three vessels were stopped by NATO forces on April 9 to determine what they were carrying and their destination; no boardings were conducted.

More than 200 vessels have been halted and five boardings conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

* NATO said its forces destroyed 25 tanks belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Sunday. Eleven vehicles were struck as they approached Ajdabiyah, a town bombarded heavily by Gaddafi loyalists on Sunday. Fourteen were hit on the outskirts of Misrata.

* NATO air strikes have also sought to take out ammunition bunkers and lines of communications.

* Gaddafi’s forces forced their way inside Ajdabiyah early on Sunday in their most determined assault on the strategic eastern town for at least a week. But by early afternoon the rebels looked back in control and seemed to have cleared the town. They commanded key intersections and fired six rockets toward the west.

* NATO aircraft hit six vehicles carrying Libyan government soldiers during an assault on Ajdabiyah on Sunday, killing at least 15. The strikes appeared to have helped break an assault by Gaddafi forces on the town, a strategic town 150 km (90 miles) km south of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

* Britain’s ministry of defense said on Sunday UK Royal Air Force aircraft were continuing to provide support for NATO’s operations.

* On Saturday, it said, Tornado GR4 aircraft used Brimstone Missiles to hit four Main Battle Tanks and one armored fighting vehicle in the area of Misrata.

* NATO said its forces destroyed 17 tanks belonging to Gaddafi’s forces on Friday and early Saturday — 15 near the western city of Misrata, and two south of Brega.

* NATO’s commander of Libyan operations said on Saturday the alliance had destroyed “a significant percentage” of Gaddafi’s armored forces in the previous 24 hours.

* Targets also included ammunition stockpiles east of the capital, Tripoli.

* A NATO official said the alliance had intercepted a MIG 23 aircraft near Benghazi on Saturday, flown by a rebel pilot, and advised him to land.

* Troops loyal to Gaddafi launched a heavy assault on the coastal city of Misrata on Saturday, killing at least 30 rebel fighters, a rebel spokesman said.

Factbox – NATO military operations against Libya’s Gaddafi