Canadian Warplanes Join NATO Raids On Tripoli
20 of June 2011 – Mathaba
Canadian jet fighters join NATO raids on Tripoli, target armoured vehicles
Canadian warplanes have bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the military confirmed Thursday.
CF-18 jet fighters took part in four days of targeted strikes over last weekend, said Col. Alain Pelletier, who commands Canada’s air contingent in Italy.
“I cannot say whether or not we got close to a specific person or not, unfortunately.”
The Canadian jets were involved in day and night raids on Tripoli, which has recently been the focus of more intense NATO bombing.
It’s the first time the Canadian Forces has given specific details about the CF-18s involvement in NATO’s stepped-up attacks on Tripoli. The military refused to confirm participation in the Tripoli offensive at its last briefing in late May, citing the need to protect operational security.
The Tripoli attacks have sparked criticism in some quarters that NATO is straying from the United Nations resolution that has authorized the mission by targeting Gadhafi directly.
Canadian jets had to be recalled to one target because the laser-targeting system on an allied jet failed. They were able to reset the required laser coordinates to help finish the attack, said Pelletier.
“It was a great demonstration of interoperability of our equipment and tactics with our partners.”
Canada has seven fighter jets taking part in the NATO-led bombardment, along with a warship, surveillance planes and aerial refuellers, some 650 military personnel in all.
As the mission enters its third month, Pelletier said the vote in Parliament this week that extended the mission to the end of September was a morale boost to Canadian personnel.
— Mathaba and Agencies