US fighter crashes

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

A US of­fi­cial says both the crew of an F-15 fighter jet that crashed in Libya are safe and back in Amer­i­can hands.

The of­fi­cial, speak­ing last night on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rised to speak on the record, said a Marine Corps Os­prey search and res­cue air­craft re­trieved the pilot. He says the sec­ond crew mem­ber, a weapon’s of­fi­cer, was re­cov­ered by Libyan rebel forces and is now in US hands.

The crash oc­curred on Mon­day night at 2130 GMT ( 0730 AEST yes­ter­day) af­ter what the mil­i­tary says was an equip­ment mal­func­tion. Its ex­act lo­ca­tion was not given.

‘‘ A US Air Force F-15E Strike Ea­gle is down in Libya, there is some re­port­ing it is down as a re­sult of hos­tile fire, but at this time there is no in­di­ca­tion that it was brought down by en­emy fire,’’ US Africa Com­mand Ken­neth Fi­dler said. He con­firmed the plane re­mained on the ground in Libya, how­ever he re­fused to say what ac­tion, if any, would be taken to re­cover it.

West­ern forces pounded strongholds of Libyan leader Muam­mar Gaddafi f or a third night but doubts grew yes­ter­day over the next stage of the cam­paign and where it is lead­ing.

Gen­eral Carter Ham, chief of the US Africa Com­mand said the strikes be­gun on Satur­day night could di­min­ish, but the UN-man­dated nofly zone would be spread to the whole coun­try.

Fight­ing con­tin­ued on the ground, how­ever, as t he rebels f i ght­ing Gaddafi’s forces for more than a month said they were un­der in­tense at­tack in their en­clave of Mis­rata near Tripoli.

And de­spite the de­struc­tion by coali­tion war­planes of dozens of Libyan army tanks in the east of the coun­try, the ama­teur rebel fight­ers were beaten off as they tried to re­take the town of Ajd­abiya.

Gen­eral Ham said that US forces had no mis­sion to sup­port a ground of­fen­sive by the rebels, who are still weak and dis­or­gan­ised com­pared with Gaddafi’s army.

Muam­mar Gaddafi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.