French jet destroys Libyan plane
24-Mar-2011 (2 comments)

A French warplane has destroyed a Libyan aircraft that had been flying in breach of the UN no-fly zone, French officials say.

The smaller trainer aircraft had just landed in the besieged city of Misrata when it was attacked, they say.

It is the first incident of its kind since enforcement of the zone began.

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister has said Nato will take command of the international mission in Libya within a day or two.

"Compromise has been reached in principle in a very short time," Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying after a conference call with his US, French and British counterparts.

"The operation will be handed over to Nato completely."

Turkey, a Nato member, had earlier raised objections to the organisation taking command without certain conditions first being agreed.

A senior US military official has meanwhile said the handover could come as early as this weekend.

Darius Kadivar

Decisive battle for Libya's future

by Darius Kadivar on

The battle for Misrata is turning into a battle for Libya's future


Darius Kadivar

Battle for Misrata is turning into a battle for Libya's future

by Darius Kadivar on

Jon Simpson Report: 

The battle for Misrata is turning into a battle for Libya's future.

From reports reaching Tripoli, it looks as though coalition planes destroyed pro-Gaddafi tanks outside the town, while two or more tanks inside the town itself have succeeded in reaching the port.

The Libyan plane which was destroyed by the French today was hit at Misrata airport. For the government here, its reported success in Misrata greatly outweighs the destruction of the air force plane.

If Col Gaddafi recaptures Misrata, that would give him effective control over almost the whole western part of the country. Government officials here clearly feel now that regime change is becoming a little less likely.

If the coalition manages to chase the pro-Gaddafi forces out of Misrata, on the other hand, the future of Col Gaddafi and the people loyal to him would be a lot more in doubt.