US flies a quarter of all NATO sorties in Libya

A jet fighter lands in April 2011 during military 
operations of the NATO coalition in Libya
© AFP/File Alexander Klein

AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US military carried out 5,316 flights in Libya since the allied “Operation Unified Protector” began, comprising 27 percent of all NATO missions, the Pentagon said Monday.

The United States, which initially led the air campaign before handing over the lead to NATO, played a support role for the alliance since April 1, mainly providing refueling tankers and surveillance aircraft.

Of 19,877 NATO sorties, US aircraft have carried 5,316 flights so far, with close to 400 of the sorties in the past 12 days, according to figures released by the Pentagon.

US planes carried out 1,210 strike missions, including 101 strike sorties by Predator drones, with 262 bombs or missiles launched, it said. Unmanned US aircraft in the campaign included a total of four Predators, Firescout helicopters and at least one Global Hawk, a large surveillance jet.

The Pentagon estimated the cost of the US contribution for the campaign at about $820 million through the end of June.

“This cost includes amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation, and humanitarian assistance,” it said.

As of August 19, the United States sold NATO allies and partners about $221.9 million worth of ammunition, repair parts, fuel, and technical assistance.

The US administration also has set aside $25 million in funds for non-lethal aid to the rebel forces, including shipments of medical supplies, boots, tents, uniforms, and protective gear.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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