Monday, May 30, 2011

Cameron's decision to send Apaches to Libya will put forces in greater danger, admits Defence Secretary - 30th May 2011

David Cameron’s decision to deploy Apache attack helicopters in Libya will place British forces at ‘increased risk’, the Defence Secretary Liam Fox admitted yesterday.

Four of the aircraft will begin sorties against Colonel Gaddafi’s tank columns this week as part of an effort to increase the military and psychological pressure on the tyrant’s murderous regime.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday it would also begin using 2,000lb ‘bunker-busting’ bombs in a bid to destroy Gaddafi’s command and control centres.

And, in a further escalation, Allied bombers also launched the first daytime raids against targets in the Libyan capital this weekend.

Defence experts have warned that the decision to send in Apache helicopters carries heavy risks because they are much easier targets for rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire than the fast jets which have been used against Libya so far.

The move will also require elite special forces teams to be put on standby for hazardous missions to rescue any crew from downed helicopters. Reports at the weekend suggested the Prime Minister had overruled defence chiefs to order in the Apaches after President Nicolas Sarkozy announced French helicopters would be deployed.

Dr Fox said there was ‘no question whatsoever of overruling military advice’.

But he admitted the introduction of the Apaches brought a new level of danger to Britain’s mission. Read More