March 23, 2011 / 5:51 PM / in 7 years

FACTBOX-Western military assault on Libya's Gaddafi

March 23 (Reuters) - Below is a synopsis of military action in Libya so far, beginning with latest developments. New items marked with a *

WEDNESDAY, March 23

* -- Allied forces carried out air strikes against military and civilian targets in Tripoli, Libyan state television reported. It gave no further details in the report, attributed to a military source.

* -- Western warplanes hit Libyan air defenses and an armoured column to the east of the rebel-held town of Misrata, but Gaddafi’s tanks kept up their shelling to the west of Misrata, killing dozens there so far this week.

* -- Allied forces have destroyed the Libyan air force and are flying with impunity across its airspace, attacking ground troops wherever they threaten the civilian population, a senior British commander says.

* -- The United States bombed the wreckage of an F-15 fighter jet that went down in Libya due to mechanical failure, a U.S. military official says. The official said the wreckage was bombed overnight “to prevent materials from getting into the wrong hands.”

* -- Western governments inch closer to a deal over who should lead military operations against Gaddafi’s forces, with France saying NATO will have only a “technical role.”

* -- Turkey has offered four frigates, a submarine and a support ship for a NATO mission to help enforce a U.N. arms embargo on Libya, the Western military alliance says.

* -- Forces loyal to Gaddafi have resumed their bombardment of the rebel-held town of Zintan, about 90 km (55 miles) south-west of the capital, a resident says

* -- Netherlands says will contribute about 200 personnel, including six F-16 air fighters and one mine hunter ship, to the NATO force which will enforce the arms embargo on Libya

* -- The no-fly zone over Libya could end up costing the Western coalition more than $1 billion if the operation drags on more than a couple of months, defense analysts say.

POSITIONING OF FORCES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

-- NATO says allies have offered 16 ships to implement an amrs embargo on Libya, including a command-and-control ship from Italy; 10 frigates -- including four from Turkey and one each from Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada and the United States; submarines from Spain, Italy and Turkey and auxiliary ships from Italy and Turkey.

-- The United States positioned 11 ships and submarines in the Mediterranean to support Libya operations, according to U.S. figures. That includes three submarines, two amphibious assault ships and two guided-missile destroyers.

-- There are no U.S. aircraft carriers currently stationed close to Libya. French carrier Charles de Gaulle arrived on Tuesday.

-- Britain has two frigates off the Libyan coast. Government sources have also said destroyers could be deployed.

-- Canada has sent one warship to the Mediterranean, officials say, along with six CF-18 bombers deployed to Europe.

-- Italy, which the United States said had 11 ships supporting the Libya operations in the Mediterranean, has assigned one aircraft carrier and one destroyer to reinforce air defense and surveillance. (Main story [ID:nLDE72M003]) (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; editing by Todd Eastham)

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