March 21, 2011 / 7:09 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Qatar fighter jets expected at Greek base - source

* Qatar sending fighter jets to Greek island of Crete

* Emirates asking for permission to refuel at Greek base

(Updates number of jets, adds Emirates)

ATHENS, March 21 (Reuters) - Greece expects six fighter jets and a cargo plane from Qatar to land at a military base on the island of Crete by Tuesday, a defence ministry official told Reuters.

European and U.S. forces have sent warplanes against Libyan targets under a U.N. Security Council resolution authorising military action to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Qatar submitted a flight plan for six Mirage jets and one C-130 cargo plane to arrive Monday or Tuesday but it was not clear what their role in Libya would be, said the official, who declined to be named.

“The jets from Qatar are expected at the Souda base in Crete and we will facilitate them if and when they arrive,” he said, adding that Qatar had earlier requested permission for four Mirage jets but changed its request.

The United Arab Emirates had also requested refueling at Souda base for 12 F-16 jets and 12 Mirage jets on their way to Sicily but it was not clear when and if they would arrive, he added. (Reporting by Dina Kyriakidou; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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