France: Qatar to join Libya operation within hours

AP News
Posted: Mar 20, 2011 1:06 PM
France: Qatar to join Libya operation within hours

France said Sunday that Qatar will join the international operation against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi within hours.

French Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire said Qatar warplanes will join the operation alongside French jets, as a "historic partner" of France in the Arab world.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, he said the Qatari contribution will come "in the hours to come." He gave no other details.

France has sent about 15 planes to eastern Libya on Sunday, French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard said. He said no civilian casualties have been reported by French forces in the region.

France sent the first planes to Libya on Saturday, and fired the first strikes launching the military intervention aimed at protecting Libyan civilians.