Spanish fighter jets carry out first patrols over Libya

AFP , Monday 21 Mar 2011

Spain joins the military operation over Libyan airspace

Two Spanish F-18 fighter jets staged their first sorties over Libya on Monday to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone, the defence ministry said.

"The two planes are taking part in the mission by the international coalition to enforce the no-fly zone established by the United Nations over Libyan airspace," it said in a statement.

Spain sent a total of four F-18 fighter jets and a refueling aircraft to the Italian base of Decimomannu on the island of Sardinia to take part in the operation over Libya.

An F-100 frigate, an S-74 submarine and a CN-235 maritime surveillance plane will also be deployed by Spain to help enforce an arms embargo on Libya.

Around 500 Spanish troops will eventually be involved in the operation.

Spain also announced on Friday it would allow NATO to use two military bases, at Rota and at Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country, for the operation over Libya.

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