French warplanes destroy several Libyan aircraft
French warplanes involved in the coalition operation from Friday to Saturday have destroyed several fighter jets and helicopters belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's force, the French general staff said Saturday in a statement, Xinhua reported.
According to the statement, during the last 24-hour operation till Saturday, at least five Galeb fighters and two MI-35 helicopters were destroyed on the ground in the western city of Misrata and near Tripoli by the French air force.
The operation involved some 20 warplanes with the support of four refueling aircraft and an Awacs plane and was conducted within the range of 1973 UN resolution, said the statement.
In addition, a detachment consisting of four Mirage 2000-5 fighters from the French and Qatari air forces carried out a surveillance mission over Libya on Saturday, the statement added.
France increased its input into the coalition operation on March 20 by sending its battle group based on Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The battle group started its participation with a reconnaissance flight by a Rafale F3 on March 22.