French troops not heading to Libya

French troops not heading to Libya
# 20 April 2011 05:00 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The French government has voiced opposition to the deployment of ground troops to Libya, as clashes between revolutionaries and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi intensify, APA reports quoting Press TV.

“I remain absolutely opposed to a deployment of troops on the ground,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday, adding that NATO countries have to follow UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which mandates enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Though NATO airstrikes targeting Gaddafi’s military equipment with the goal of protecting civilians have proven counter-productive since they have caused civilian casualties, Juppe said that “it is likely that there will be a military solution” to the crisis in Libya, Reuters reported.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron also ruled out the possibility of invading the North African country.

France and Britain initiated the air attacks on Libya, but they were unable to persuade fellow NATO member states Germany and Turkey to help them increase the airstrikes. The two countries remain adamantly opposed to the idea of a military solution.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced on Tuesday that Britain plans to send military advisors to the Libyan opposition-held city of Benghazi to improve the revolutionaries’ “military organizational structures, communications and logistics,” but stressed that Britain does not intend to arm the Libyan opposition.

On Tuesday, NATO warplanes launched airstrikes on the Libyan capital Tripoli, the northern city of Aziziyah, and Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte in the east. They reportedly attacked command-and-control facilities of the Gaddafi forces, including the brigade headquarters south of Tripoli.

In the western city of Misratah, the situation remains complicated as revolutionaries and Gaddafi forces battle for control of the town.

The head of NATO’s military operations in Libya has said Gaddafi forces are using hospitals and mosques to fire on civilians in Misratah.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says the Libyan conflict has left 10,000 people dead and 55,000 injured.
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