By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Officials of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime have warned against Britain’s plan to send military advisers to help Libyan rebels.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told AP that the rebels are not well-organized and that the British mission is likely to be a “failure.”
Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi told the BBC that the British mission might only “prolong” the fighting.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London would send military officers to rebel-held eastern Libya to help rebels improve their organization, communications, and logistics.
Hague said they “will not be involved in training or arming the opposition’s fighting forces.”
Up to 20 senior British soldiers are expected to go to Libya.
With fighting continuing between Qaddafi’s forces and rebels in the city of Misurata, NATO has acknowledged that Qaddafi’s side still has potent firepower.
Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of NATO’s military committee, said NATO operations have done “significant damage” to the Libyan regime’s heavy weaponry, but that the regime still has “considerable” firepower to attack rebel positions.