French Fighter Jets Start Patrols Over Libya

Move comes after Ghadafi again defies UN
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2011 10:17 AM CDT
Libyan rebels drive through the deserted city of Benghazi.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – French military jets have begun patrols over the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the first tangible sign of the promised no-fly zone, reports the BBC. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the move after an international summit in Paris. Earlier, Moammar Gadhafi reversed himself and said he wouldn't abide by the UN resolution, and rebels in Benghazi reported heavy attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces.

It's not clear whether the international force has directly engaged Ghadafi's forces yet, but Sarkozy said: "Our planes are blocking the air attacks on the city," notes AP. Earlier, the rebels apparently shot down a Libyan fighter jet over the city, though Tripoli hasn't confirmed the plane was one of its own.

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