Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Libya: SAS veterans helping Nato identify Gaddafi targets in Misrata

Ex-SAS soldiers and private security firm employees passing information to Nato attack helicopters, sources tell Guardian

Richard Norton-Taylor
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 31 May 2011

"Former SAS soldiers and other western employees of private security companies are helping Nato identify targets in the Libyan port city of Misrata, the scene of heavy fighting between Gaddafi's forces and rebels, well-placed sources have told the Guardian.

Special forces veterans are passing details of the locations and movements of Muammar Gaddafi's forces to the Naples headquarters of Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, Canadian commander of Nato forces, the sources said.

The targets are then verified by spy planes and US Predator drones. "One piece of human intelligence is not enough," a source said.

The former soldiers are there with the blessing of Britain, France and other Nato countries, which have supplied them with communications equipment. They are likely to be providing information for the pilots of British and French attack helicopters, who are expected to start firing at targets in and around Misrata this week.....

The revelations about the role of the rebels' advisers follow the filming of armed westerners on the frontline with rebel fighters in Misrata. A group of six were visible in a report by al-Jazeera from Dafniya, described as the westernmost point of the rebel lines in the city. Five of the men were armed, wearing sand-coloured clothes, baseball caps and cotton Arab scarves. The sixth, who seemed to be in charge, carried no visible weapon and wore a pink short-sleeved shirt. The six were seen talking to rebels, and quickly left after they realised they were being filmed....."

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