Danish fighter jets en route to Sicily for no-fly zone deployment
Six Danish F-16 fighter jets were en route to Sicily Saturday, part of Denmark's contribution to the no-fly zone operation over Libya approved by the UN Security Council, dpa reported.
The jets were airborne hours after parliament at midnight unanimously approved Denmark's participation in the operation aimed at enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.
Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said the vote was historic and welcomed the support from all parties in the legislature.
The fast-tracked bill was also backed by the leftist Unity List - the Red-Green Alliance, which earlier has opposed Denmark's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It was one of the toughest decisions we have ever made," party leader Frank Aaen said, underlining that the party had received assurances that the operation would, to the utmost, avoid civilian targets.
Rasmussen was later Saturday scheduled to take part in a meeting in Paris on the Libyan crisis and implementation of the UN mandate.
Defence Minister Gitte Lillelund Bech said the Danish jet fighters - due to arrive at noon in Sicily - could be operational as of Sunday. Four of the F-16 jets would take part in the operation and two would serve as backup planes.