Libya: NATO Says Conducted 363 Sorties Since March 31


On March 27, NATO decided to take control over all military operations for Libya under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 & 1973.

According to NATO, the aim of Operation Unified Protector is to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under attack or threat of attack.

The mission consists of three elements: an arms embargo, a no-fly-zone and actions to protect civilians from attack or the threat of attack, according to NATO.

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 363 sorties and 148 strike sorties have been conducted. Strike sorties are intended to identify and engage appropriate targets, but do not necessarily deploy munitions each time, NATO said.

Sorties conducted 1 April: 174

Strike sorties conducted 1 April: 74

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean, NATO said, with two vessels being hailed on 1 April to determine destination and cargo. No boardings were required, NATO said.

A total of 30 vessels have been hailed since the beginning of arms embargo operations, according to NATO.

Command and Control

NATO’s operational commander for Operation Unified Protector is Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard of the Canadian Air Force. His office and staff is located at the Joint Force Command in Naples.

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