US flies a quarter of all NATO sorties in Libya

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Aug 23, 2011

WASHINGTON — The US military carried out 5,316 flights in Libya since the allied “Operation Unified Protector” began, comprising 27 percent of all NATO missions, the Pentagon said Monday.

The United States, which initially led the air campaign before handing over the lead to NATO, played a support role for the alliance since April 1, mainly providing refueling tankers and surveillance aircraft.

Of 19,877 NATO sorties, US aircraft have carried 5,316 flights so far, with close to 400 of the sorties in the past 12 days, according to figures released by the Pentagon.

US planes carried out 1,210 strike missions, including 101 strike sorties by Predator drones, with 262 bombs or missiles launched, it said. Unmanned US aircraft in the campaign included a total of four Predators, Firescout helicopters and at least one Global Hawk, a large surveillance jet.

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