Factbox: NATO operations against Libya’s Gaddafi

(Reuters) – Following is a synopsis of statements by NATO and countries participating in military operations in Libya, made on Friday:

NATO

* The following countries are participating for now in NATO’s operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, including approximate number of aircraft and maritime assets at their disposal (in brackets):

Belgium (6,0), Bulgaria (0,1), Canada (11,1), Denmark (4,0), France (33,1), Greece (2,1), Italy (16,4), Netherlands (7,1), Norway (6,0), Romania (0,1), Spain (6,2), Turkey (7,6), United Kingdom (17,2), United States (90,1).

* NATO conducted 178 sorties since the beginning of the operation on March 31, including 74 strike sorties.

* A total of 17 ships under NATO command were actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean. Two vessels were hailed to determine destination and cargo, but no boardings were required.

PARIS

* France conducted the first air strikes against forces loyal to Gaddafi on March 19 using some 20 aircraft including French-made Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighter jets, as well as six refueling planes and one E3F AWACS surveillance craft.

* Since the start of the operation, dubbed Harmattan by French armed forces, France has flown over 250 sorties for some 1,600 flight hours. That makes France the second largest contributor to the coalition’s air operation, behind the United States.

* French warplanes have launched attacks on Libyan armored vehicles, command centers, arms depots, helicopters and grounded aircraft, according to armed forces spokesman Thierry Burkhard.

* The planes are taking off for Libyan missions from air force bases in mainland France, Corsica and Sardinia. Navy planes are taking off from the deck of the Charles de Gaulle, France’s nuclear aircraft carrier, positioned off Libya’s coast.

* Also in the Mediterranean are the Forbin and Jean-Bart frigates.

Factbox: NATO operations against Libya’s Gaddafi