How NATO Special Forces Helped Bring Gaddafi to His Knees

(Telegraph - UK) Sean Rayment - British special forces played a pivotal role in helping the Libyan rebel army take control of Tripoli after several days of intense fighting. The battle for Tripoli, codenamed Operation Mermaid Dawn, began with a pre-arranged message from the headquarters of the rebel army. Hundreds of heavily armed anti-Gaddafi fighters, who had patiently waited for the appointed time, took to the streets. Planning for Mermaid Dawn began three months earlier when groups of young male volunteers left their homes in Tripoli and traveled to Benghazi to learn the art of insurgent warfare from an international force of covert units composed of the British SAS and MI6 agents and troops from the French, Qatar and United Arab Emirates special forces. As well as training the rebels, the British government also covertly supplied 1,000 sets of body armor, advanced telecommunications equipment and night vision goggles. For weeks on end the Libyan volunteers were taught weapon training, street fighting and sabotage in a series of disused compounds across the city. While the rebels trained, hundreds of weapons, tons of ammunition and communications equipment were smuggled into Tripoli and hidden in secret arms dumps. Last Saturday morning NATO war planes began a series of highly coordinated attacks against command and control bunkers, which left the Libyan dictator unable to respond effectively to the insurrection. Members of the SAS and other foreign specialist troops were able to supply the rebels with real time intelligence from surveillance aircraft.

2011-08-30 00:00:00

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