Qatar fighter jets land at Greek base – source


Two Qatari fighter jets and two C-17 transport aircraft expected to participate in the no-fly zone over Libya landed in Crete, a Greek defence ministry official said.

US Admiral Samuel Locklear told reporters in Washington that Qatari aircraft would be “up and flying” by the weekend.

European and US forces have sent warplanes against Libyan targets under a U.N. Security Council resolution and Western officials have said that Qatari aircraft would join the operation enforcing a no-fly zone, Reuters reports.
“Two Mirage fighter jets and two C-17 transport aircraft from Qatar have landed at the military base in Souda,” the defence ministry official said.

Four other Qatari Mirage were expected at Souda but it was not clear when they would arrive, the official said.

The United Arab Emirates have also requested refueling at Souda base for 12 F-16 jets and 12 Mirage jets on their way to Sicily, the official said, adding that none has arrived yet.

Cyprus, which hosts two British bases, has said it does not want any involvement in military operations over Libya.

President Demetris Christofias said on Sunday that his government opposed any use of the British bases on the island to enforce the no-fly zone, but conceded it had no power to stop their involvement.

Britain has sovereignty over the bases on Cyprus, a former colony. British base authorities have said the facilities in Cyprus were not being used to launch offensive strikes.