The United Arab Emirates will send 12 aircraft to support the international coalition on a mission to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces in Libya, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.
“I spoke…to the crown prince of the UAE, who told me that the Emirates have decided to commit 12 planes to the coalition,” Sarkozy said on the sidelines of a two-day European Union summit in Brussels.
The UAE is the second Arab country to sent aircraft to the coalition after Qatar, which has sent two fighter jets and two military transport planes to one of the airbases in the Mediterranean.
The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.
The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.
NATO members agreed on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of the no-fly zone in Libya, but the coalition forces will continue to carry out the bulk of airstrike missions against Gaddafi’s ground troops.
Western warplanes have flown more than 300 sorties over the North African country and fired 162 Tomahawk missiles in the UN mission.
BRUSSELS, March 25 (RIA Novosti)