Britain Sending Supplies, Armor to Libyan Rebels

Meanwhile rebels gain ground in west
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2011 9:54 AM CDT
A Libyan rebel soldier stands guard as Libyan men pray during Friday prayers in the rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, Friday, July 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

(Newser) – It’s not quite as dramatic as air-dropping assault rifles, but Britain is also supplying the Libyan rebels, Foreign Secretary William Hague acknowledged yesterday. Britain has sent the rebels 5,000 sets of body armor, along with 6,650 police uniforms, and 5,000 high-visibility vests, the New York Times reports. Hague says the drops are “fully in line” with the UN arms embargo—though an office spokesman says they believe UN resolutions allow for arms drops “in certain limited circumstances.”

Meanwhile, the rebels in the Nafusa mountains—where France dropped its weapons—are making progress, the LA Times reports. They’re now less than 50 miles from Tripoli, bombarding government positions in the small town of Bir Ghanam with rockets. Rebels say civilians have cleared the town, but they’re expecting a much tougher fight in the city of Aziziya. “The power of Gadhafi doesn’t depend on his weapons,” one commander explained. “He uses civilians as shields to protect himself.”

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