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NATO raid in Tripoli against pro-Gaddafi fleet

Destruction of the booby-trapped RHIB on May 16 (photo credit: NATO)

(BRUSSELS2) NATO HQ in Naples confirmed overnight that it had carried out air raids on Gaddafi's forces in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirte. Eight ships were destroyed. " All ships targeted were warships with no civilian function said Rear-Admiral Harding, NATO Deputy Operation Commander.unified protector".

sea ​​climbing

The war, which was previously concentrated on land, has moved to the sea for a few weeks. On three occasions in recent days, incidents have, in fact, pitted Gaddafi's maritime forces against NATO forces. On April 29, the maritime forces were caught laying mines in the port of Misrata; three mines were subsequently deactivated by NATO forces.

Rebelote on May 12. The Canadian frigate, HMCS Charlottetown, the British destroyer, HMS Liverpool, and the French frigate Courbet (which is not under NATO command), thwart an attack on the port of Misrata led by several RHIB type fast boats. An exchange of fire then took place. These covered their escape with artillery and anti-aircraft gun fire in the direction of the Allied ships. They then replied.

On May 16, a new step was taken. Two RHIBs coming from Zlintan are detected by NATO navies en route to Misrata. " As NATO forces approach, one of the RHIBs halts and the second flees. A detection team (EOD Team) then approaches the suspect vessel. And she discovers a ship stuffed with explosives, one ton (Czech-made Semtex H, in particular), with no one on board except ... two mannequins. Obviously a trap. The ship is then destroyed.

NB: Libya has a large stock of explosives acquired in past years.

Read also: Several mine-laying boats caught red-handed in Misrata Bay

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).